Sunday, March 9, 2008

Chicken Breasts with Mediterranean Stuffing

This weekend was action packed. My birthday was Thursday, I picked my aunt from the airport that evening, went home, got up the next morning, drove to Fresno (yes of COURSE we stopped at Gilroy outlets...duh!!!), did some last minute party shopping, went to bed, got up and prepped for the party, attended the party, and literally pooped out that evening. up the next day (lost the hour for daylight savings!) and headed back home from Fresno so I could pick up my baby from my friend's house (yes of COURSE I stopped at Gilroy outlets...again...duh!!!).

I had been meaning to make this for some time when I first saw it but just hadn't had the time. It really was very simple once I got all the ingredients! The only thing I changed was I closed up the chicken with toothpicks and it seemed to work perfect! Dinner was yummy tonight and a perfect finish to a very busy weekend!

Chicken Breasts with Mediterranean Stuffing
Adapted from Cara's Cravings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
5 ounces baby spinach, or regular spinach, stemmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 medium)
4 ounces soft goat cheese or mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
2 tablespoons black olive tapenade, available in specialty food stores
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine

In a medium microwavable bowl, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, garlic and the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cook on high for 5 minutes or until the spinach has wilted completely and excess liquid has evaporated. Remove the spinach to a small plate and set aside to cool slightly.

Using a small, sharp knife, cut one chicken breast almost in half horizontally so it opens like a book - the breast meat should still be held together on one long side. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Season the outside of each breast with salt and pepper and open the chicken breasts up on the cutting board.In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes until well blended. Using your hands, squeeze the excess moisture out of the sauteed spinach. Chop it and spread a quarter of it on one half of each chicken breast. Spread equal amounts of the cheese mixture over the spinach. Then, using a small spoon, spread some of the tapenade on the empty side of each chicken breast. Close the tapenade side of the chicken breast over the cheese, and press gently to adhere.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining olive oil and about 1 teaspoon of butter. When the butter has melted, gently place each chicken breast in the pan. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the breast, or until chicken is golden and cooked through and the cheese has melted. (Lift up the pocket flap to check to see if the chicken is thoroughly cooked; there should be no signs of pinkness.)

Remove the chicken to a serving plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.Raise the heat to high. Add the wine to the skillet. Let the wine cook off for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a spatula or a wooden spoon. Add the remaining tablespoon butter to the pan, stir until the butter melts, and then pour the sauce over chicken.

Serve the chicken whole or sliced.


Deborah said...

This sounds so delicious!!

CIA-Cooking In An Apron said...

Thanks Deb! It was very yummy!!

Dianne said...

You're my partner this month for Taste & Create and I chose to make this and oh my it's delicious! I really loved the end result! :)


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