Recipe by Casey Engel | Photography by Greg Lindstrom

Goat Cheese and Basil Stuffed Roasted Chicken Serves 4

4 chicken breasts, bone in and skin on; airline breasts work great as well
½ cup chiffonade fresh basil
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
Balsamic glaze

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pat chicken dry and gently loosen the skin from the breast. Mix the basil, goat cheese, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Divide mix into four portions and gently stuff it under the skin of the chicken breast as evenly as possible. Place it in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then place it in the oven for 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken breast, and check for an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Let rest for 5 minutes. Plate with your favorite side dishes and top with the balsamic glaze.

Balsamic Glaze
16 oz. bottle of balsamic vinegar
½ cup granulated white sugar
Pinch of salt

Instructions:
Add all ingredients to a saucepan. Place on medium-high heat. Mixture will boil, stir and reduce; check every 5 minutes or so. Should take about 20 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached.

There are also many alternatives to making your own. Check in your local grocery store or specialty market.

 

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Steelhead BLT with Goat Cheese Lemon Mayonnaise Serves 4

4 4 oz. portions of steelhead (salmon may also be used); tail portions work best; may butterfly cut thicker pieces
4 brioche buns, or your favorite bun or bread
8 strips thick cut bacon
Butter lettuce, also called Bibb lettuce
4 slices ripe tomato
Goat cheese lemon mayonnaise

Either pan sear or grill your steelhead portions on medium-high heat until the desired doneness. Toast brioche buns in oven or in a pan, or on the grill if you like. Slather goat cheese lemon mayonnaise on buns and top with butter lettuce, tomato, steelhead and bacon.

Lemon goat cheese mayonnaise
2 cups mayo
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
¼ cup lemon juice

Instructions:
Mix all ingredients in bowl with a whisk. Refrigerate.

 

Mixed Baby Lettuces Salad

Mixed Baby Lettuces Salad Serves 4

6 cups mixed greens
1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts
5 dried figs, quartered
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
½ organic apple thinly sliced
Orange vinaigrette

Toss greens with desired amount of orange vinaigrette, and either leave them in a large bowl for serving or portion onto four plates. Top with hazelnuts, figs and goat cheese. Arrange sliced apples on each salad or on salad in the serving bowl. Extra dressing may be added over the top of the salad.

Orange Vinaigrette
2 cups orange juice
¼ cup honey
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp fresh chopped garlic
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 orange, zest and juice
1 ½ cups canola oil or desired oil

Instructions:
In blender, add all ingredients except canola oil. After blended at high speed, turn to medium speed and drizzle canola oil slowly into blender to emulsify.

Schafer’s Restaurant and Riley’s Pub are located in the Mountain Lake Lodge in Woods Bay just five miles south of Bigfork overlooking majestic Flathead Lake. Schafer’s Restaurant offers a fine dining experience with a casual ambience, focusing on premier Northwest beef, seafood and bison with a full bar and extensive wine list. Riley’s Pub has amazing cherry wood-fired pizzas, kobe burgers, wings and smoked ribs, to name a few, with a great selection of draft beers a warm, inviting atmosphere.

Casey Engel is a career restaurateur whose experience started early in life on California’s Central Coast. In Montana for over 18 years now, he has been part of some of Flathead Lake’s top restaurants. Having fun and being passionate about fresh, quality ingredients, creative plate presentations, and a team-centered approach have been a huge part of his recipe for success. Bon appétit!