My little brother Mark– or maybe I should say my younger brother, as he’s not very little anymore– doesn’t fit the stereotype of the annoying bratty sibling. In fact, he’s pretty much the coolest kid– or I guess man, now– that I know. That’s mainly due to the fact that he spent most of his early years trying to be like me. Obviously. 😎
Oh, just go with it.
Anyway, when I was just getting started with cooking, Mark decided to try his hand at it as well, and his first foray was a recipe that he found on the back of a mayonnaise jar for a parmesan-crusted chicken. For such a simple dish, it was actually pretty tasty– the key was a mayonnaise mixture that was spread on top of chicken breasts and beneath a layer of breadcrumbs, which kept the chicken moist as it baked. Years later, I still think about that technique from time to time, so I decided to spin it off to create this Sun-Dried Tomato Crusted Chicken with Goat Cheese and Herb Sauce, and woooow. I owe my brother some big thanks for the inspiration for this one because it. is. FANTASTIC.
For the topping, I combine Italian-seasoned croutons, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and basil in my food processor and process it until it’s reached a large crumb. You can substitute in breadcrumbs if you prefer, but I really love the way that the croutons are able to maintain larger pieces to give more crunch along with the chewier sun-dried tomato pieces. Plus, I’m able to sneak a few as a snack in the process.
Yes, I like to snack on the occasional crouton (or nearly whole bag of croutons, if I’m getting carried away with myself… shh). I can’t be the only one, right?
If you’re right there with me, just make sure not to snack on too many. You’ve gotta save some room for dinner, and you’ll be so glad you did.
I absolutely adore the combination of sweet, punchy sun-dried tomatoes and sharp mustard, as you might remember from my Smoky Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Penne from a couple of years ago. This time, I decided to put those flavors together by mixing dijon mustard and mayonnaise to help adhere the topping to, well, the tops. It’s much more flavorful than an egg wash, and as I mentioned earlier, the mayonnaise will help prevent the chicken from getting dry as it bakes, which is a common issue for boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
So we’ve got moist, flavor-packed, crisp-topped chicken breasts which, by the way, only take 20 minutes to bake. What more could we ask for?
Well, actually, how about a delicious sauce?
The Goat Cheese and Herb Sauce is tangy, packed with herbs, creamy, and it perfectly ties together all of the vibrant flavors of the Sun-Dried Tomato Crusted Chicken. To make it, I simply heat chicken broth and mix in goat cheese until it has melted in to form a creamy sauce. I like to use herbed goat cheese as a short cut, but sometimes if I have herbs laying around that I need to use up, I’ll use those instead. Either way, it’s fantastic, especially after adding the juice of one lemon to really amplify the tanginess of that goat cheese, and a tiny bit of crushed red pepper flakes for heat.
And just like that, the sauce is ready to pour over the chicken right as the chicken comes out of the oven. It seems like an awfully fancy meal for such little effort, which is exactly what makes it so awesome.
Go on, give it a try for yourself and see why I’m planning to make it again for my family (and for James and our friend Murphy, who absolutely devoured my test batches) very, very soon. Don’t forget to take a picture of your Sun-Dried Tomato Crusted Chicken with Goat Cheese and Herb Sauce and tag #hostthetoast on Instagram or Twitter to show yours off!
Let me know if you love them as much as I do, and if so I’ll be sure to bother my brother for some more inspiration in the future. That’s what siblings are for!Print
For the Sun-Dried Tomato Crusted Chicken:
- 2 cups Italian-seasoned croutons
- 3/4 cup dry sun-dried tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt and black pepper
For the Goat Cheese and Herb Sauce:
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 4 ounces herbed goat cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Pasta, to serve, optional
- Sauteed spinach, to serve, optional
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the croutons, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and 1/4 cup basil leaves. Process until the mixture has turned into large crumbs. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the dijon mustard and light mayonnaise.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the dijon-mayo mixture evenly over the tops of the chicken breasts. Sprinkle the sun-dried tomato breadcrumbs over the dijon-mayo mixture and pat it down to make sure the tops are well-covered.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the chicken stock. Add in the herbed goat cheese stir often to melt and combine. Add in the basil, red pepper flakes, lemon, and salt and pepper, to taste. Reduce heat to low and let sit until the chicken is ready to serve.
- Serve the chicken with pasta and sauteed spinach, and spoon the goat cheese sauce over top.