Friday, March 5, 2010

crimini, spinach and cheese stuffed chicken

you will need a skillet with lid, thick, flat toothpicks and tongs (optional: a sharp filet knife, a cutting board and a cake pan)
yields 4 servings

4 4oz chicken breasts (cut in half almost all the way thru [but leave it still attached] or pounded flat - i pound flat with a skillet [place on a non-skid cutting board, cover with saran wrap and whack with the skillet until desired thickness])
4 garlic and herb cheese wedges (half a wheel)
8 to 10 ounces crimini (or other) mushrooms, sliced
2 cups spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

heat skillet and 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium high. add mushrooms and saute until brown, around 8 minutes. add spinach and wilt, about 2 minutes. remove skillet from heat. divide into 4 even portions.

if you cut the chicken, open. salt and pepper outside. spread cheese wedge on the inner side on half chicken (it will be thick). add mushrooms/spinach to center (don't spread out much). take other half of chicken and stretch over top. close with 1-2 wide toothpicks.

reheat skillet and 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium high. place chicken in skillet to cook for 4-6 minutes until bottom side is cooked thru. depending on the skillet, the chicken may be browned. reduce heat, flip chicken over and cover with lid to steam cook the rest of the chicken. leave a crack for the heat to escape. maybe another 4-6 minutes. use tongs to pull out the tootpicks and serve. if a lot of the cheese melted out of the chicken, sprinkle pan with 1 tablespoon flour and pour in a 1/4 cup of white wine or chicken stock (and stir), making a yummy cheesy sauce to pour over the chicken instead.

garnish with paprika and/or parsley.

**you can probably bake it for the same effect, about 40-45 minutes.

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