Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spinach & Feta Stuffed Chicken

You know how sometimes you have stuff sort of sitting in your fridge because you bought it on sale, or for a different recipe, and now you're just not sure what to do with it?  I had that happen a few months ago with baby spinach and crumbled feta cheese.

A couple of Google searches later, I came across a recipe from for an easy spinach and feta stuffed chicken breast, and thought I'd give it a whirl, and my own small twists.

Ready to see how it's done?

Spinach & Feta Stuffed Chicken

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes (for an optional side)

Start by melting a stick of butter and set it aside. Then combine the breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning in a shallow dish and set aside.

Next, mince the garlic very fine. I've found my OXO Chopper works particularly well for this sort of mincing. Saute the garlic in the olive oil until tender.

While that's happening, you need to flatten the chicken breasts to about a quarter-inch thickness. Don't worry if you end up with some holes.  I find putting each breast into a gallon sized zipper bag before pounding it flat helps prevent messes.

Back to the skillet.  Add the baby spinach and saute over medium heat, tossing frequently, until wilted.

Now add the feta cheese and toss until it's a big gooey, lovely mess.

Now you're ready to roll!

Put a spoonful (very precise measurement, isn't it?) of the spinach mixture in the center of each chicken breast. I like to err on the side of overfilling, it really doesn't matter if you have leaks.

Now comes the tricky part.  You need to fold the chicken over the spinach and use a couple tooth picks to secure. It's a little like using straight pins. Usually two toothpicks is enough, but you may need to use three or four.  Don't forget to tuck the ends in, or you'll have way more leakage than you want!

Now coat the chicken breasts evenly in the breadcrumbs and place in a foil-lined baking dish.

(P.S. Thanks to the hubs for taking the "hands on" pictures!)

Drizzle the melted butter over the chicken, and bake on 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. I suggest cutting each piece open after about 30 minutes to see how it's doing; the thickness of your chicken will determine cooking time.

I ended up with about a cup and a half of the spinach mixture left, so during the last fifteen minutes or so of the baking time, I returned the skillet to the stove and sauteed some grape tomatoes into the mixture until the skins started to burst. It turned out to be a delicious side dish!

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