Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken

Oh baby - I don't know how I'll get through typing this recipe out without my mouth watering.

This is one of my favorite dishes to make - and one of Chad's favorite to eat. We went through a period where we ate it at least once a week - for several weeks. I put it on the back-burner (pun intended) for awhile so we didn't get sick of it. I made it again last week for the first time in a few months and Chad and I both marveled why we haven't eaten it in so long.

It is that good. And is super-fancy. People will be impressed with this dish.

So here you go. Spinach and feta stuffed chicken. BTW - I'm doing this from memory, so my portions might be a bit off. Then again, I never measure anything and I cook for two. So use your brain and figure out your portion size. I can't baby you all the time. Cooking is an adventure!

Warning: This recipe is not for the novice cook. But it's well worth the time and effort.

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients:
Boneless, skinless chicken breast (thin if possible)
Fresh baby spinach
Crumbled feta
Garlic
Mushrooms
1 lemon
White wine
1 egg
Italian breadcrumbs
Chicken stock
Cornstarch/flour
Salt+Pep
Butter
Olive oil
Toothpicks or cooking string

Let's Get Started:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 375deg.

2. Either buy pre-thin sliced chicken breasts, or make them yourself by ---> butterflying your chicken and then pounding it thin. Or else if you have a lot of aggression to get out, you can just really pound it out thin. You just want it to be as thin and even as possible, without puncturing holes through it. Make your husband pound the chicken - I do! Perfect man job. Sprinkle both sides with s+p.

3. In a large pan, saute your spinach (for three chicken breasts, I usually use half of an average-sized bag of spinach) in a little bit of olive oil and a few cloves of minced garlic. Saute until wilted then remove from heat. (Don't wash pan.)

4. Take your flat chicken breasts and put on a thin layer of the sauteed spinach/garlic and feta cheese. Then roll the chicken up and secure it with toothpicks or cooking string to hold all the goodness inside.

5. Add a little more olive oil to the pan where you had sauteed spinach. Bring it to med-high heat. Add a little butter too if you want. Adds a bit of a nutty taste.

6. While your oil is getting hot, get out two plates - one for eggwash (sheesh people, just beat and egg and put it on a plate) and one for Italian breadcrumbs. Dip your rolled chicken breasts into the eggwash, shake of excess egg, and then roll in breadcrumbs. Get it nice and covered.

7. Place your chicken into pan with the hot oil. Just brown the chicken on each side (rotating it) until the breadcrumbs are nice and brown. You don't want to completely cook the chicken through - b/c you'll be baking it. So if the inside still looks a little pink - don't fret. You just want the breadcrumbs to be nice and crispy before baking.

8. After browned, remove your chicken into a casserole dish. Again, don't wash your pan.

9. Use that same skillet, add a couple tablespoons more butter, and sautee your fresh mushrooms. I usually use 3/4ths a package. We like mushrooms. After your mushrooms are nice and brown, add in about 3/4 cup of white wine. Let the alcohol cook out of it for a second. Then add about 3/4 cup of chicken stock, the juice from 1/2 a lemon (if it's really juicy - or a whole lemon if it's not). Then combine about a tablespoon of cornstarch or flour to a little bit of warm water and wisk together until combined. Add that to the pan - it's just going to thicken up the sauce.
If it still looks too runny, add a bit more of the cornstartch mixture. This is about the portion I use for 3 chicken breasts - use more or less depending on your size. I personally like a lot of the sauce.

10. Take that yummy sauce + mushrooms and pour it in your casserole dish over your rolled chicken. Throw it in the oven with tinfoil on top and bake for 25 mins. Take the foil off, then bake for another 15 minutes.

11. Remove toothpicks/string and serve!

Make sure to spoon extra sauce and mushrooms on your plate. Serve it with a side of steamed asparagus topped with a little bit of butter and lemon zest. People will worship you.

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