Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spinach Stuffed Chicken

The other night, we had on the Foodnetwork while I was cooking dinner, and Rachael Ray was stuffing chicken breasts, making fettuccine and chopping up a salad. It looked so good, my husband said, "Let's make that!", so last night, I did.

Let me say right up front, that to put this entire meal together in 30 minutes or less would be pretty impressive. There was no instruction given about prepping the chicken breasts, and as soon as I pulled mine out of the package, I knew the "stuffing" and rolling part was going to be pretty near impossible, considering the thickness of the breasts. So, out came the plastic wrap and the rolling pin, and I pounded away on all 6 of them for at least 10 minutes. Then, there was the board and rolling pin clean up, very important whenever you are dealing with raw chicken. When I make this recipe again, and I will, I would buy the thin, breast cutlets that you see in the case at the grocery store. It would make it lots easier, and a more realistic portion size. The whole breast, pounded out and stuffed with all the goodies, was a large portion to consume in one meal. I amended the original just slightly, but the idea and method came straight from Rachael.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Prosciutto

6 chicken breasts, pounded, or thin chicken cutlets

1/2 c. low fat ricotta cheese

1 pkg. chopped, frozen spinach, thawed and drained

2 T. pine nuts, toasted

1 garlic clove, grated

1/4 c. freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

few gratings fresh nutmeg

few gratings of black pepper

6 slices procuitto di Parma (Italian Ham)

To toast your pine nuts, put them in a frying pan over medium heat until they are lightly browned. Watch them so they don't burn. Make your stuffing: Begin by squeezing all of the water out of your frozen chopped spinach. Place it in a bowl with the ricotta, parnigiano, toasted pine nuts and garlic. Mix it well, and grind a little nutmeg and black pepper into the mixture. Mixture will be kind of "stiff" and a little dry.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lay your chicken breast on a clean work surface, and add a well rounded tablespoon or so of the stuffing mixture towards one end of the breast. Roll the breast up, jelly roll style and secure it with a toothpick. Wrap a slice of the ham around the rolled up chicken, so that the ham covers the opening where the ends come together. Put the 6 breasts in a 13X9" pan, coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes. They get done a little quicker than you would think! These were worth a little work and really tasty. I added the garlic to the recipe, but my family loves that taste. The nutmeg adds a lot too.


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