Chicken Breasts with Creamy Vegetable Topping

Food & Wine
Red bell pepper, scallion, and carrot are sautéed briefly, then mixed with cream cheese to form a bright, speckled sauce that bakes right on the chicken--simple and delicious.
4

Ingredients

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1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 scallions including green tops, chopped
1 carrot, grated
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
4 bone-in chicken breasts (about 2 1/4 pounds in all), skin removed

Preparation

1. Heat the oven to 425°. In a medium frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the scallions and carrot and cook 2 minutes longer. Mix the vegetables with the cream cheese, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper.

2. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with the remaining 1/4 teaspoons of salt and pepper. Put the breasts in a roasting pan and spread them with the vegetable cream cheese. Bake the chicken until just done, 20 to 25 minutes.

Menu Suggestions: The rich topping on the chicken leaves one wanting a simply prepared vegetable, such as steamed broccoli, asparagus, or green beans.

Variation: Chicken Breasts with Boursin-Cheese Sauce: Substitute a 5 1/2-ounce package of plain or garlic-and-herb-flavored Boursin cheese for the cream cheese.

Wine Recommendation: A crisp and fruity white will cut through the rich cheese and pair well with the acidity of the bell pepper and scallion. A kabinett riesling from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region of Germany or, if you can find it, a riesling from the Finger Lakes in New York is a good possibility.

Created date

June 2004