Chicken with goat cheese and basil 

IMG_6970 IMG_6958

{the studio shot vs. the reality}

As I’ve said at least once on this blog, chicken breasts are to my refrigerator what black suit pants are to my closet. Such a versatile staple yet so often I find myself staring at them waiting for inspiration. What the hell do I do with you two?

This Barefoot Contessa recipe is a good one for the chicken breast problem. In the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook, Ina uses boneless breasts. Online, she’s bone-in all the way. I prefer bone-in and had some left over that I needed to use, so that’s what we did. And it’s SO easy. You just slice rounds from a log of herbed goat cheese and stuff them under the skin of the breast along with a few leaves of fresh basil. Olive oil and lots of salt and pepper on top. Then roast in the oven for a bit. They come out with a surprising lot of flavor.

We were lucky to get this on the table that particular night so forget about side dishes. If I’d had my act together, I would have done asparagus. And I’m pretty sure the guidelines of food photography suggest removing food from its pool of oil on the tin foil-lined baking sheet first–not to mention photographing your dishes in daylight vs. your kitchen at 7:30 p.m. But that’s how good this chicken tastes. Overall, I still considered it a win worth sharing with all of you.

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