No American producer of Goat Cheese is more responsible for its ever- increasing popularity than California’s Laura Chenel’s. Starting in the 1970s, Chenel’s became America’s first commercial producer of this extraordinarily healthful cheese. Everything from its calorie count – 30 to 40% lower than cow’s milk cheeses—and its nutrient count with more calcium, vitamins B6 and A, potassium and niacin, makes goat cheese practically a health food. But it’s the remarkable tastes of Laura Chenel’s Goat Cheese that have made sales rise to two million pounds a year. Ms. Chenel retired from her eponymous company in 2006 but her devotion to creating spectacular new varieties is in the DNA of the company that still bears her name.
An outstanding example is the Black Truffle Cabecou introduced earlier this year. Cabecou’s origins are in the Midi-Pyranees region of southern France. It’s a soft, yet dense goat cheese that’s cut from Laura Chenel’s Original fresh goat cheese logs. It is dried on racks for five days. Then the cheese is hand-packed into its retail containers which are infused with olive oil based marinades. Laura Chenel’s has been making Cabecou cheese ever since 1984. The latest introduction is the apogee of the cheesemaker’s art. Rich, earthy overtones surround the cheese which is steeped in Truffle Oil and Black Truffles. The scent alone is intoxicating. It’s the perfect partner to the two other Cabecou’s already in Laura Chenel’s line-up, the Original Marinated Cabecou with Herbs and Marinated Spicy Cabecou.
Black Truffle Cabecou uses authentic French truffle infused Olive Oil and French Black Truffles. The Spicy Cabecou gets its flavor from California jalapenō-infused Olive Oil while Original Cabecou relies on fresh herbs for its sublime taste. All three varieties provide a wealth of ideas: Topping salads, melting the cheese into recipes, or spread onto Crostini, the possibilities are yours to discover. Even the aromatic oils can be used as a separate ingredient in recipes.
As with all Laura Chenel’s Chèvre, the 6.2 oz. containers are made using only fresh goat milk from nearby farms assuring the highest possible quality. Laura Chenel’s Black Truffle Cabecou, Spicy Cabecou and Original Cabecou with Herbs 6.2 oz for 8.99. For a store near you, go to http://www.laurachenel.com/store-locator/ “
Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to incorporate this wonderfully creamy cheese into a recipe. A natural, I thought, would be to stuff a boneless skinless chicken breast à la Chicken Kiev. But instead of a breadcrumb crust I like the idea of encasing the stuffed breast with Prosciutto which would not only live up to the power of the Black Truffle and Goat Cheese flavors, it would also do a good job of keeping the cheese within the breast. And the smoky crisp Prosciutto would pare nicely with the tender white meat. I didn’t stop there. I love Shiitakes for their earthy flavor and it seemed a perfect opportunity to make a Marsala sauce that would add yet another flavor note to this dish. And largely so that I didn’t not have a completely brown plate, I finished the plating off by showering chopped chives over the dish. This dish came together in all of about 45 minutes. I made it for two. Here is the recipe
Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Black Truffle Goat Cheese with Shiitake Mushrooms in a Marsala Sauce
Glorious Goat Cheese at its creamiest is tucked into Chicken breasts which are then encased in Prosciutto. Shiitakes in a Marsala sauce round out the dish.
- 2 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts about 8 oz. each.
- 3 oz. Laura Chenel’s Black Truffle Cabecou
- 6 oz. Thinly sliced Prosciutto
- 8 oz of Shiitake Mushrooms, stemmed and cut into ¼ inch slices.
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- ½ cup Sweet Marsala wine
- ½ cup Chicken Stock
- 3 tablespoons unsalted Butter
- 3 tbsp. Chives, cut into ¼ inch lengths
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Step 2 Using a sharp paring knife, cut a slit in each chicken breast and maneuver the knife to create a pocket inside the breast. If, for any reason, the knife breaks through the chicken breast, remember the breast will be sealed by the prosciutto.
- Step 3 Take a mini-plastic bag and put the Black Truffled Goat cheese into it. Cut a corner of the bag off and then insert the tip into the hole you’ve created in the chicken breast. Gently push the cheese out of the bag and into the chicken breast.
- Step 4 Next, take the prosciutto and wrap it around the chicken breast tightly. Continue doing this overlapping pieces of prosciutto to completely cover the chicken breasts on all sides.
- Step 5 Heat the oil until it just smokes. Add the prosciutto-wrapped chicken to the pan and sauté until the entire chicken breast is golden brown. Remove the chicken breast and put it into a second skillet. Put the chicken in the oven while you prepare the rest of the dish (about 15 minutes). Empty whatever oil remains in the skillet.
- Step 6 Add a teaspoon of oil and then add the shallots and mushrooms to the pan and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the marsala wine and the chicken stock and reduce by half. Then add the butter stirring until you have a rich buttery sauce.
- Step 7 Add the Chicken breasts back into the pan and spoon the sauce over them while they re-heat for 3 minutes.
- Step 8 Plate the dish and then generously sprinkle the chopped chives over the whole dish and serve.