Sunday, February 22, 2009

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts

There has been a constant sale on boneless, skinless chicken breasts lately, and the champagne chicken was such a success; I decided to try another stuffed chicken breast. Since I had fresh spinach, I decided to use that. I looked at a couple of spinach stuffed chicken breast recipes and created the following.

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 3-4 sliced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup French onion dip (because I had some and thought onion would go well with this) or sour cream for milder flavor or even cream cheese for creamier filling
  • 1/4 cup cheese (I was going to use colby jack, but used pepper jack instead)
  • sea salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Mix the chopped spinach, sliced garlic and French onion dip until the spinach is completely coated and the garlic is evenly distributed.

Butterfly the chicken breasts and stuff the filling into the chicken. Top the filling with cheese.

Fold the chicken back up and sprinkle with salt, pepper and oil.

Bake in the oven at 400F for 1/2 hour, or pan fry over medium heat until completely cooked.

This was a very tender, flavorful chicken breast. I definitely want to try this with just sour cream or cream cheese to allow the spinach flavors to show through better. But with the French onion dip the spinach tasted very much like artichoke, which was nice.

My family loved this. I would make it again. It was easy! This can even be made up ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Champagne Chicken

This is a great way to use up left over champagne from any celebration, mine was Valentine/anniversary weekend. I had this at a local Italian restaurant a couple of times and liked it enough to try to make it myself. I like mine better.

  • 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 6-8 sprigs of fresh young rosemary
  • 6-8 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp dried sweet basil
  • 2 TBS butter
  • a little flour
  • 8oz fresh mushrooms
  • 2-3 TBS olive oil
  • 2-3 TBS butter (optional)
  • 1 - 2 cups champagne (I like Ballatore Gran Spumante)
  • 1/8 cup half-n-half
  • salt & pepper

Butterfly the chicken breast (slice the breast like a hot dog bun). Rub each chicken breast with a little sea salt. Stuff each breast with 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, a sprinkling of dried basil, a TBS or more of sliced garlic, and 1/2 TBS of sliced butter. Pepper each breast and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow all the spices to penetrate the meat. The longer you leave it, the more the meat will absorb the flavors. If you like, you can set the chicken in 1 cup champagne about 1/2 hour before cooking.

When ready to cook, heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add 2-3 TBS olive oil. Place the breast in the pan and dust with a little flour. Keep an eye on the heat; you don't want to burn the flour. Flip them carefully away from the cut side and dust the other side with flour. Once the one side is seared, flip again to sear the other side.

Push the chicken to the side of the pan and add the sliced mushrooms and the additional butter if desired. Once the mushrooms are seared, add the champagne - you can add the champagne that the chicken was sitting in as well.

Turn to low heat. Cover and let cook for about 5-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Take the chicken from the pan. Turn the heat back to medium. Add the half-n-half to the pan. If you would like a thicker sauce, mix a little flour to the half-n-half before adding to the pan.

Serve the chicken topped with the sauce.

This, as I said, was delicious. The sauce had a tangy, almost bubbly zip. I served this with a cabbage salad and fried mashed potato patties.