Sometimes dinners just work, even when they’re a little different than what you had originally planned. I had a last-minute request last night to stuff “maybe stuff some herbs under the chicken skin” so into the fridge I went! I knew I had a nice, big bunch of fresh basil and right next to it happened to be some cotija cheese—one of Nathan’s favorites lately. Add a little garlic and we’ve got ourselves a delicious chicken. I told you, we eat a lot of chicken here!
This mixture is different from what we normally go for but it was nice to shake it up a bit. And it came out so well, I had to share it right away!
Basil Cotija Stuffed Chicken with Honey Balsamic Glaze
For the Chicken
– 2 chicken leg quarters [can sub bone-in, skin-on chicken breast or thighs]
– 1 bunch fresh basil; chopped & divided
– 5 cloves garlic; minced
– 1-2 oz cotija cheese; crumbled & divided
– Salt, pepper, & garlic powder
– 1 tbsp EVOO
For the Honey Balsamic Glaze
– 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
– 1 tbsp honey
– 1/2 tsp dried basil
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F and heat a large stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Combine the minced garlic with half of the fresh basil and half of the cotija cheese. Stuff this mixture under the skin of the chicken and season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Once the pan is hot, drizzle in the EVOO and place the chicken skin side down. Let the chicken sit for about 10 minutes, or until it lifts up easily. Flip the chicken over and place the whole pan in the oven. The chicken will cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, but be sure to adjust cooking time if you swap the leg quarters for breasts or thighs.
While the chicken is in the oven, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small pot over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer, allowing it to thicken up. When the chicken is fully cooked, remove from the oven and let it rest about 5 minutes. Plate it up with a drizzle of the honey balsamic glaze and a sprinkling of the leftover fresh basil and cotija. Serve with your favorite veggies [we had roasted carrots, tomatoes, and portobello caps] and enjoy!
Hope you have a great weekend, friends! And don’t forget to head over to Laura’s blog to check out all of the other #strangebutgood creations.
Food for Thought
What’s your favorite cheese?
What’s your favorite way to flavor chicken?