Chicken breasts stuffed with fresh figs and goat cheese

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This elegant recipe-good enough for entertaining-goes together in a few minutes and cooks in less than half an hour. Serve it with a side dish of freshly cooked green beans seasoned with olive oil, chopped fresh mint, and salt.

NotesThe fillet is the long slender piece attached to the bottom side of each breast half. They are sometimes removed from the chicken breasts and sold separately as “chicken tenders.” Pull them off and reserve them for another use, such as in stir-fries or soup.

Makes4 servings

Cooking Methodroasting



Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentbaking/gratin dish

Mealbrunch, dinner

Taste and Texturecheesy, fruity, herby, meaty, savory, winey


  • 4 large boneless and skinless chicken breast halves, fillets removed (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup diced fresh green or black figs (about 6 figs)
  • ½ cup crumbled well-chilled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 slices (about 1/8 inch thick) pancetta or bacon
  • ½ cup dry white wine


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Place the chicken breasts, smooth side up, on a work surface with the thickest portion to your right. Butterfly the breast by cutting through the thick side toward the tapered side so that you can open the breast like a book. Sprinkle the butterflied chicken breasts inside and out with ½ tablespoon of the thyme leaves, a pinch of salt, and a grinding of pepper.

  3. In a small bowl combine the remaining ½ tablespoon thyme, the figs, the goat cheese, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and a grinding of black pepper, to combine. Spoon the stuffing onto one side of each chicken breast, dividing it evenly. Close the chicken over the stuffing. Wrap a slice of pancetta around each chicken breast. Hold the breast closed and the pancetta in place with a toothpick or a small metal skewer.

  4. Oil a large (about 13 × 9-inch) shallow flameproof baking pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn and roast the other side until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

  5. Remove the pan from the oven; transfer the chicken to a serving platter and cover with foil. Add the wine to the pan and heat to a boil over high heat, scraping up the browned and reducing the wine to a syrup, about 5 minutes. Drizzle the wine over the chicken, and serve.


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I must say, Ms. Simmons, this was absolutely delicious. I cut the recipe in half, since there were only two of us. I was not sure if by goat cheese you meant feta or chevre, so I used feta. Even two stuffed breasts at 400° took 1/2 hour. Absolutely fabulous! I love fresh figs and have been looking for something to do with them other than making salads or vinaigrettes. We only need more recipes for two as tbey seem to be fleeting.


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