You know what I won’t be doing on a typical weeknight? Stuffing chicken breasts. Maybe down the road when my kids don’t want to physically be on my body all of the time, there will be stuffed chicken. Yet here we are – a recipe for stuffed chicken. My husband’s birthday was a worthy cause, don’t you think?
Plus, I realized that pounding chicken puts me into a zen state way better than any yoga class I’ve taken. I actually found that “nothing place” the yogis always talk about. Ever stuffed chicken (or any meat really) only to find that most of your stuffing is no longer in the chicken when you go to eat? Pounding the meat nice and thin will help with that, plus pounding meat tenderizes it by breaking up the connective tissue. Double win.
Now – when the stuffed chicken is sort of rounded, one might wonder how to brown/cook it on all sides? That’s where the lid comes in. I could have done some oven baking after browning, but the lid worked just a well by steaming the sides – hence cooking it through.
This filling is fairly light and contains no egg which means it doesn’t have to be cooked to a certain temperature. Is stuffing chicken breasts of no interest to you but you like the sound of this flavor combo? Slice chicken thinly and stack the strips on an angle horizontally in a baking dish with the filling in between each piece. Just bake for about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven!
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Chicken
Makes 8 chicken breasts (likely serving 8 people)
1 c. marinated artichoke hearts, drained
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 garlic cloves
1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c. ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper
8 chicken breasts
Kosher salt and pepper
2 tbsp. oil (olive or vegetable)
1. In a food processor, combine artichoke hearts, spinach and garlic. Chop till well mixed.
2. Add cheeses, oregano, and pepper. Process until combined. Set aside.
3. Placing one chicken breast in a gallon sized ziplock bag (or between two sheets of plastic wrap), pound with a meat pounder (or anything heavy and flat) until uniformly 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with remaining chicken. I used a citrus juicer.
4. Divide filling between chicken breasts and fold in half, securing with toothpicks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Once oil is very hot, add chicken, toothpick side down (and salt and pepper-side down). Cook without moving until golden brown. Sprinkle second side with salt and pepper.
6. Flip chicken gently and place lid on skillet. Cook, covered, for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through on all sides.
7. Remove toothpicks and serve.