Monday, August 24, 2009

Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts


Rachel Ray "Get Stuffed" Menu
Originally set to serve 4, but I adjusted the recipe for 2 people.

Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Wax Paper
  • 1 Pkg. frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 12 small mushroom caps
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small shallot (onion), sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (I used Fat Free)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • toothpicks
  • 3 tbsp evoo

SAUCE:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used cooking wine, you can find it in the dressing/vinegar aisle)
  • 1 cup chicken broth

DIRECTIONS:
Place chicken between two large pieces of wax paper and pound the chicken from the center outward using a heavy bottomed skillet or mallet.

Place spinach in a kitchen towel (I used paper towels) and wring it out until very dry. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.

Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat, when hot, add the 2 tbsp butter, mushrooms, garlic and shallot. Season with salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or blender and pulse grind the mushrooms. Add to the spinach in the mixing bowl. Add ricotta, grated cheese, and nutmeg and combine.

Return skillet to the stove over medium-high heat. Place a mound of stuffing on each chicken breast and roll the breast over the stuffing (I added a bit too much stuffing, almost a cup, so depending on the size of your chicken breasts I would go with 1/2 cup of stuffing). Secure with toothpicks. Add 3 tbsp evoo to the pan, add the chicken and brown on all sides, 10-12 minutes. The meat will cook quickly because it is thin. Remocve the stuffed chicken to a warm platter.

To make the sauce, add the 2 tbsp butter and flour to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Then, whisk in the wine and cook to reduce, 1 minute. (The mixture got VERY thick at this part for me, sort of pasty) Whisk in the broth and return chicken to the pan. (I let the sauce simmer for a few minutes before adding the chicken back into the pan) Reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve. Serve the stuffed chicken breasts whole, or slice on an angle and fan out on dinner plates. Top with generous spoonfuls of the sauce.


Spaghetti with Zucchini and Garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti
  • 1 small to medium zucchini
  • 1/4 cup evoo
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese or Romano.
DIRECTIONS:
Put a large pot of water over high heat for the pasta. When water boils, add salt and pasta. Cook according to package directions. (I cooked whole wheat pasta for 8 minutes)

(After I took the chicken out of the pan, I started the water boiling for the pasta, and after I added the chicken broth to the sauce and let it simmer for a few minutes, I began preparing the zucchini)

Meanwhile, pile up 2-3 paper towels on a work surface. Using a box grater, hold the zucchini at an angle and shred onto the towel.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat (the heat level depends upon your stove, my stove is hot so I needed to turn the heat down to low/medium. You DO NOT want to burn the garlic).
Add the evoo, and then the garlic. When the garlic sizzles, after 30 seconds or so, add the shredded zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 7 - 10 minutes. Add hot, drained pasta to the pan, and toss with zucchini. Add a couple of handfuls of grated cheese, and adjust seasoning and serve. (Grant added Tony Chachere's creole seasoning to the pasta for flavor)


VERDICT
I really enjoyed the dinner. I thought the pasta was great, the cheesy chunks were fabulous, the sauce was soooo good with the chicken! I was very grateful that I did not cut the quantity of sauce when I cut the recipe in half. However, Grant thought the pasta was just okay. The zucchini was too much for him towards the end. He suggested adding some red pepper flakes next time.

He also suggested adding red pepper flakes to the chicken, of which he did enjoy.

When asked what else he would enjoy stuffed in the chicken, he responded with cheese and bacon... so next time, I will have to switch things up. And maybe I'll try a cheese sauce with it, because you can never have too much cheese! Or Alfredo... mmmmM!

4 comments:

mr-messy said...

I did something close to what Grant was suggesting. I mixed bread crumbs, 3 or 4 types of grated cheese, egg white to hold it together, I forget the spices execpt the garlic :), stuffed these huge chicken thighs I bought (bonelss, skinless) and then wrapped them in bacon to hold them together.

Meg said...

wrapped them in bacon? that sounds sooo good!
how did it turn out? was it delish? what was your rating?

mr-messy said...

It was actually quite good. Your sauce would have been a really nice addition. I think that next time I would use different spices, and perhaps swap out one of the milder cheeses for a nippy swiss like Gruyere. I would give it a 6.5 to 7 out of 10.

Meg said...

oh Gruyere cheese is SO one of my new favorite cheeses, next to Gouda! holy cow, i just discovered it. The next dish i'm posting about is a pasta dish that i used Guyere cheese to make the sauce... so fantastic! It just adds so much richness, texture, and depth!

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