Foodie Friday: Basil Cotija Stuffed Chicken with Honey Balsamic Glaze

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

Serves 2
Basil Cotija Stuffed Chicken with Honey Balsamic Glaze | Barr & Table

Ingredients
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

Directions
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.

Sprint 2 the Table

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite cheese?
What’s your favorite way to flavor chicken?

Happy New Year!

Well, it’s a good thing I didn’t make a resolution to blog more! So sorry to leave you hanging for the better part of 2 weeks. (Life, right?) So let’s catch up, shall we?

I was really looking forward to New Years Eve; my family always has a big dinner to celebrate with lobster and other wonderfully delicious treats. The peanut butter pie and peanut butter cups always call my name! I could never have too much chocolate and peanut butter. This year, however, was a bit different. My brother had to work on NYE, so we got together for lobster and mounds of peanut butter and chocolate on the 29th.

I made Gina’s Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip which, like all of her other recipes, was a big hit! We also stopped at Lebanese Taverna to pick up a shawarma dinner for my non-seafood-eating fiance. The nerve of him! But since we were there, we decided we’d also get some baba ghanoush. They have one of the best around!

New Years Eve Dinner NYE Skinnytaste Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip Lebanese Taverna Mediterranean Baba Ghanoush Maine Lobster

We followed up the delicious appetizers with even more delicious LOBSTA! Sorry for the awful picture.. I was too excited to dig in to go grab my real camera 😉 I loaded up on my veggies and after devouring everything on my plate, went in for 2 lobster claws and some extra shawarma that we got for everyone to share.

And I must have been really excited to dig into dessert because I don’t even have a bad picture of that! But imagine.. creamy peanut butter pie with oreo crust.. and homemade melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter cups.. oh yea, and fresh fruit. YUM!

After indulging on Saturday, Nathan and I had plans to indulge, yet again, for the real deal New Years Eve on Monday. We went back to an old favorite, Annabel Lee Tavern. We started with cocktails and a chicken quesadilla. Their cocktails are on point, but I’d skipped the quesadilla next time. It wasn’t bad, just not anything special.

New Years Eve Dinner NYE Annabel Lee Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD Cucumber Gin Ginger Rum Cocktails Chicken Quesadilla

I had the Morella (my fave!)– Hendrick’s Gin, St Germain Liqueur, Muddled Cucumber and a dash of Simple Syrup. Nathan sipped on the Descent into the Maelstrom – Goslings Rum, Bacardi 151 and Ginger Beer. Goslings Rum and ginger beer are his jam. It’s a new-found love for him but he orders it whenever he finds it!

Dinner and dessert were phenominal, as expected!

New Years Eve Dinner NYE Annabel Lee Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus SweetBJ Crabcake Blackened Asparagus Roasted Duck Salted Caramel Crunch Cake

Before our food arrived, we finished up our first round of drinks and decided to split a Sweet Baby Jesus, or Sweet BJ, as Nathan called it. Hey, it’s the hashtag😉 This beer is a chocolate peanut butter porter, and like I said before, never too much chocolate and peanut butter!

I ordered the crab cake platter with blackened asparagus. Look familiar? That may just be because it’s my favorite crab cake ever. And coming from a Maryland-er, that means they’re doing it right! Nathan had the roasted duck, cooked to absolute perfection!

Finally, we treated ourselves to a slice of salted caramel crunch cake. Oh my gracious! I would get this time and time again if they continue to have it on their menu! A perfect meal to end a wonderful year.

We partied the night away right into 2013, which just so happens to be our wedding year! With it being just over 4 months away now, planning has started to pick up again. We’re both so excited for everything to come! So from our craziness to yours, we wish you a Happy New Year!

Barr & Table Happy New Year

Food for Thought

What did you do for New Years Eve? Did you go out to celebrate or stay in the comfort of your home?