Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spinach, Tomato, Basil and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

By now you may be completely sick of our pumpkin, apple and butternut squash obsession. So to break things up I figured I post something that has no association with fall flavors what so ever. That way when our next post is a pumpkin dessert or hearty fall dinner you won't judge us. John and I eat chicken I'd say 4 nights a week so things obviously can get repetitive. I'm always looking for a new recipe that will transform our regular everyday chicken breast into something creative and flavorful. This dish is perfect to add to your regular dinner rotation. Give it a try tonight!

1 Package of Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts (4-5)
15oz Ricotta Cheese Part Skim
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese - Grated
1/2 Pint Grape Tomatoes (Split in Half)
2 Cloves of Garlic - Minced
1 Cup Baby Spinach - Chopped / Stems trimmed
10 Fresh Basil Leaves - Chopped
2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
2 Eggs for wash
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
You can begin by prepping your veggies. Chop your spinach and basil, slice your tomatoes and mince your garlic. Then preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large bowl combine the ricotta, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.
Add the spinach and basil. Mix gently to combine. S & P both sides of each chicken breast. On a cutting board carefully make a slit in the largest section of each chicken breast. Be careful not to cut all the way through or all of the stuffing will come out the bottom when they are cooking. Fill each breast with as much of the mixture as you can.
Put your breadcrumbs in a shallow dish, if they are plain be sure to add the Italian seasoning and give it a good stir. Put the eggs in a bowl and scrambled them. Carefully dip each breast in the egg than the panko making sure to cover the sides and the top, shaking off any excess. Heat up the olive oil in a large oven safe pan over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts and brown the bottoms for about 5 minutes. In the past I would've tried to flip each breast but it always is disastrous so don't bother because everything will get crispy and brown in the oven while they bake.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes uncovered. When they are done please learn from my lesson and be extra careful. I burned my hand very badly and it actually left a scar on my palm for weeks. I guess I wasn't thinking after I took the pan out of the oven I grabbed it with my bear hand since it wouldn't normally been that hot I wasn't thinking.  Good thing the chicken came out delicious because it distracted me from my burn.
Enjoy!! - Nicole

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