Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta

This recipe was inspired by one I found on the Food Network Website omitting the lemony white wine sauce that many reviewers of the recipe found overwhelming. Instead I used a classic French technique, paner à l’Anglaise (literally breaded English-style), to seal the breasts around the filling. No sauce is needed. Those in the DC area who remember Bilbo Baggins in Old Town Alexandria may recognize this as similar to their famous Chicken Queen Street. I served it simply with garlic mashed potatoes.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • ½ cup frozen spinach, chopped and drained
  • ¼ cup non-fat ricotta
  • ¼ cup Gorgonzola
  • 2 ounces, about 2 slices, bacon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp. milk or water
  • ½ cup bread crumbs or chopped corn flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter

Method

In a non-stick skillet large enough to hold the chicken breasts, render the bacon until brown and crispy. Pour off all but a teaspoon or so of the fat.

Combine the spinach, ricotta, Gorgonzola, bacon, and 1 Tbsp. of the egg in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, mix well, and set aside.

Using a long, thin knife such as a boning knife make a pocket in each chicken breast starting from the thick end, being careful not to puncture the thinner end of the meat. Using a piping bag or a spoon, fill each breast with the spinach mixture, massaging to distribute evenly. Season the outside of each stuffed breast with a bit of salt and pepper.

Mix the milk or water with the remaining egg and put into a shallow dish. Spread the breading into another shallow dish. Dip the chicken into the egg wash and roll in the breading until well coated.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat the oil and butter along with the bacon fat in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the coated chicken breasts and cook until nicely browned, about 2 minutes per side. Carefully pour off any excess oil and butter then put the skillet into the oven for about 20 minutes to finish cooking.

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