This recipe for Spinach and Cheese actually came about from a failed recipe… the stuffing used in this recipe was originally supposed to be for … little appetizer balls baked in an oven… well … while they were only okay tasting… and didn’t hold together well…. on their own they just weren’t up to par… but as a stuffing for chicken and mushrooms it was an excellent filling.
I adapted the recipe considerably from the original recipe… I used shredded Asiago cheese which, in my opinion, added a terrific flavor to the filling… you can use just Parmesan cheese if you prefer.
I used thick boneless skinless chicken breasts and used a sharp knife to slit them, creating a pocket to put the stuffing in….
I didn’t close the opening shut with a toothpick… you can… but since these are baked in the oven… you really don’t have to do that… the filling will expand and open the breast up with the stuffing showing… some may even leak a bit.. but the presentation is pretty.. and I see no need to add more work.
Dredging the stuffed chicken breast in seasoned flour, in beaten egg and then in bread crumbs is a little tricky but not as bad as you might think.
Simply set up your bowls in a line… carefully pick up the stuffed breast with two hands and place it in the flour.. twist it a bit to coat the bottom… then using a spoon.. spoon some flour over the top.. rubbing it a bit with your hands… then lift it out and place it in the egg… spoon egg over the top…. and then place it in the bowl with the bread crumbs… again twisting it a bit to coat the bottom and spoon bread crumbs over the top, pressing them gently with your hands… a little messy but it works.
I list the Mushroom Wine Sauce as optional, although I highly recommend it… it really adds great flavor to the dish. You can omit the wine and use only chicken broth if you prefer.
Make sure you drain the spinach in a strainer and press out as much liquid as you can.
I used my mini chopper to chop the shallots and garlic together.
If using the wine, use a drinkable quality of wine… it doesn’t have to be expensive. I recommend you use a Sauvignon Blanc for the wine.
I used Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick foil to line the backing sheet… it really works the best.
I served this with Orzo with Shallots and Garlic… or small shells in a light Parmesan Ccheese Sauce and a small salad.
This recipe will easily stuff 4-6 chicken breasts, depending on the size of the breasts.
This is not only a delicious and easy meal to prepare… it is certainly “guest-worthy”… it makes a really nice presentation… I hope you enjoy it!
Recipe: Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
All you need:
For the Stuffing:
2 cups frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
3 large shallots, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded Asiago cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste (add as much or as little as you prefer)
For the Chicken:
4-6 thick boneless skinless chicken breasts
¾ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups plain bread crumbs
Mushroom Wine Sauce (optional)
All you need to do:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil.
Spray the foil with olive oil cooking spray. Set aside.
Make a slit through the side of the chicken breast to create a pocket. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, melt 4 tablespoons butter.
Add the onions and garlic and cook until onions are soft, stirring to make sure they’re mixed well with the butter. Do not let them brown, if they start to brown, lower the heat a bit.
Add the spinach, mix well. Saute for about 3 minutes.
Allow to cool a bit.
Add the remaining filling ingredients, mix well.
Stuff each breast with a filling… about 3 tablespoons should fit… use your judgment, you don’t want to over stuff them, the stuffing will expand a bit while cooking.
Set up three bowls… one for the egg, one for the bread crumbs and one for the seasoned flour.
In the flour bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder with a fork.
Dredge the stuffed breasts in the seasoned flour (see tips above).
Place the breasts on the prepared baking sheet and spray the tops with olive oil cooking spray.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes or until golden brown and center of breasts reads 165 on an instant read meat thermometer (or until juices run clear).
Spoon Mushroom Wine Sauce over the top and serve.
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