This entrée blends sweet fresh pears with rich aged balsamic vinegar and dried figs for a delightfully savory dinner meal.
4 ounces goat cheese
¾ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon fresh minced garlic
3 Comice Pears, cored and cut in half
1 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 ½ cup dried figs
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup sugar
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Mix goat cheese, thyme, and garlic until blended. Place 1 rounded tablespoon goat cheese mixture into center of each pear half. Puree chicken broth, figs, vinegar, and sugar in batches in blender until smooth. Pour into strainer set over bowl. Press liquid (sauce) into bowl and discard solids. Pour half of fig sauce into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan.
Place chicken breasts over fig sauce in pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place filled pear half cut side down over each chicken breast and drizzle with remaining fig sauce. Cover pan with foil and bake in conventional oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake, basting occasionally, 30 to 40 minutes until chicken breasts reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Cut chicken breast and pear in half to serve. Spoon sauce over pear. Garnish with cut fig and thyme sprig.