Fancy looking dishes aren't always difficult to make. With a little patience and time you can turn your simple chicken breasts into an elegant and fun meal. I always have frozen spinach and shredded cheeses handy. The best part of making this Spinach and Cheddar Stuffed Chicken, which I was pleasantly surprised, needed no oil or butter to make it better! I am "trying" to use less creams and butters when I cook these days. So far so good! I buy organic chicken always. I'm not comfortable feeding my family or friends chicken with all sorts of additives, steroids, and hormones. I served this chicken dish with Jasmine rice and a simple salad. Stay tuned for other stuffed chicken recipes...
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Yield: 8-10 servings
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach
1 onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (I used Kraft Triple Cheddar, shredded)
3/4 cups panko break crumbs
salt and pepper, to taste
Clean and cut excess fat from chicken breasts. Place one hand on top of the chicken breast. Using a knife, carefully cut a large pocket in the chicken breasts or if it's easier butterfly cut them. You want to be careful not to cut all the way through or you will have two pieces of chicken. Finish cutting the rest of your chicken breasts and slightly season with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside.
Cook the spinach in the microwave for 4 minutes. Remove from package and squeeze excess water out of spinach. Be careful not to burn yourself. (I like to put my spinach into a strainer and use a large spoon to remove the excess water, or allow it to cool in the strainer and use your hands.) Transfer spinach to medium bowl. Add shredded cheese, onions, salt, pepper, and panko bread crumbs. Mix well.
Place about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of spinach mixture into the pocket of chicken. I find it easier to form the mixture in your hands. The mixture will stick due to the cheese and bread crumbs and will be easier for you to work with. Once you have stuffed all the chicken breasts, wrap the chicken around the spinach mixture and tie with cooking string or twine. Using three to four pieces will be enough. Cut the excess string. (See images below.)
Preheat oven to 350° F. While the oven is preheating, use a large non-stick skillet to sear the chicken on all sides. I used cooking spray. If you don't have any cooking spray, a tablespoon of olive oil will work. Once all sides of the chicken are seared, place onto a baking sheet with parchment paper and finish cooking the chicken in the oven at 350° F for 40 minutes.
Remove chicken from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Cut the string off the chicken and cut the stuffed chicken breasts into four pieces. Transfer to serving platter and serve.