There is something strange about coming back to a city after living on an island for 2 years. Especially, when it comes to grocery shopping.
If this is your first time on my blog, allow me to introduce myself:
My name’s Ice and for the last 2 years I have been living on an island called Virgin Gorda(one of the BVIs). Virgin Gorda is a small island with a couple of supermarkets that get fresh food deliveries once a week (or at times, once every other week). What this means for me is that if I miss the day of the delivery, there is a strong possibility that I may not be able to find simple ingredients like tomatoes, spinach, scallions, etc. for the rest of the week.
Therefore, as a food blogger, I make sure to visit our not-so-super-markets on those days they get their weekly deliveries. However, even being there on the day of the delivery does not guarantee that I would find everything that I am looking for. Sometimes, they do not have certain ingredients like mushrooms, fresh herbs, zucchini, etc. simply because their suppliers do not have them available.
As you can imagine, it is a constant struggle that requires creativity on my part with the limited resources I have access to on the island.
I am currently in Atlanta for a couple of weeks and I must admit that I am having such a hard time adjusting to the amount of availability of fresh food.
Seriously, this has never happened to me before (!?)
If you are living in Atlanta and see a girl walking around Whole Foods Supermarket looking at fresh produce longer than anyone ever should, that would be me.
The problem is that I just can’t decide what to buy and/or where to start.
When it comes to finding fresh or unfrozen meat on the island, you can, pretty much, forget about it. Although you could find unfrozen meat in one supermarket, the way that it is displayed sometimes makes me question its source and I choose to not buy it. Instead, I buy frozen meat. Don’t get me wrong, I do not think that frozen meat is bad. I just prefer fresh meat if it is available.
In my last visit to Whole Foods Supermarket, when the guy at the meat counter asked me if I needed help, I could tell from the look on his face look that he was thinking that there is something a little strange about this young woman admiringly looking at a piece of chicken that was organic with no hormones or antibiotics, and most importantly, never (ever) frozen. As he approached to my direction, I immediately collected myself and asked for 2 pieces of chicken breasts with skin-on and bone-in.
As he was wrapping them up with waxed brown paper, I was already feeling like I am one of the chefs on Food Network.
I always admire them when they take the freshest and the highest quality meat (wrapped up in waxed brown paper) out of the fridge and talk about how important it is to use the best quality of meat you could find for your home cooking.
As I was driving home, I was so happy to find good quality fresh chicken breasts and all I could think of was turning them into something out of ordinary. That is when I decided to make Ina’s “Chicken with Herbed Goat Cheese” recipe.
In her original recipe, she uses supermarket-bought herbed goat cheese. I, on the other hand, like to make my own herbed goat cheese myself. I must admit, although I love goat cheese, I am not a big fan of already herbed, supermarket goat cheeses. I prefer the homemade version made by simply mixing fresh herbs, minced garlic, and good-quality goat cheese.
Still, if you are in a rush, or like the taste of already herbed, supermarket goat cheese, feel free use it.
This Chicken with Basil and Herbed Goat Cheese is perfect for a quick Tuesday dinner. I served it with spinach linguini but it would work well with rice, quinoa, or even with a simple green salad.
As you bake it in the oven, the skin gets crispy while the cheese melts under it. With every bite you get to enjoy the flavors of fresh basil and all the other herbs mixed in the goat cheese.
I promise that after you take your first bite, you won’t be able to help but ask the same question I asked myself:
How can something so easy to make taste so freaking good?!?
Chicken with Basil and Herbed Goat Cheese
- 2 whole chicken breasts bone in and skin-on
- 6 ounces of goat cheese
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon garlic pressed through a garlic press
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt- divided
- 1/2 teaspoon or more black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4-5 large fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
- Preheat your oven to 375 F degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
To make the herbed goat cheese:
- Place the goat cheese, oregano, thyme, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Using a spatula, mix them until creamy and totally incorporated. Add the basil leaves and gently stir until all leaves are coated with the goat cheese mixture.
To prepare the chicken:
- Using your fingers, loosen the skin from the meat making sure that it is still intact.
- Divide the goat cheese mixture in between 2 chicken breasts by equally distributing it underneath the skin (or in between the skin and the meat).
- After filling each piece, make sure that all the goat cheese mixture is covered under the skin and the skin is nicely tucked in.
- Rub each chicken breast with olive oil and season with the rest of the salt and pepper.
- Place chicken breasts on the baking sheet (covered with parchment paper) and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken breasts register between 160-170 degrees when a thermometer is inserted.
- Take it out of the oven, cover it with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
- When ready to serve, place each chicken breast on a cutting board and cut the meat diagonally (or any other way you like) into 4-5 pieces. Discard the bones.
- After placing it on the plate, spoon the juices left over in the baking dish over the chicken.