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Artichoke-and-Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke bottoms
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat or feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped chives, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind, divided
8 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Drain artichokes in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid.
Coarsely chop artichoke bottoms. Combine artichokes, cheese, 2
tablespoons chives, 1 teaspoon thyme, and 1 teaspoon lemon rind in
a medium bowl; stir well. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest
portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff about
1/4 cup artichoke mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle chicken with
pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add 4 chicken breasts, and saute 6 minutes on each side or until
chicken is done. Remove chicken from skillet. Set aside; keep warm.
Repeat procedure with 1 teaspoon oil and remaining chicken breasts.
Add reserved artichoke liquid, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon
lemon rind to skillet. Combine cornstarch and lemon juice; stir
well. Add to skillet. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring
constantly. Return chicken to skillet. Cover and simmer 2 minutes
or until thoroughly heated. Spoon sauce over chicken. Top with 2
tablespoons chives. Makes 8 servings (serving size: 1 chicken
breast half and 1 tablespoon sauce).


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