I love stuffed chicken breast for its simplicity and step up from the ordinary chicken meal. But lovingly cradle-wrapping the stuffed chicken in bacon adds another level of excitement. Who doesn’t love bacon? I’m going to show you how to make a stuffing out of cheese and spinach, compose the layers into a roll with the bacon, poach it and finish it off on the stove. Then I’ll slice it and you get that cool, layered cross section for visual appeal. These ingredients are the perfect combination.

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

For the best possible Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breast, note the following tips:

  1. Use a large quantity of spinach for the stuffing, as it cooks down quite a bit
  2. When tapping chicken to flatten, use frequent, gentle taps rather than forceful pounding to avoid tearing the chicken
  3. If there are tears or holes in the chicken upon flattening, you can tear off strips to patch up
  4. Don’t overstuff
  5. Be sure to tightly wrap the rolled breasts to avoid water leakage during poaching
  6. Completely submerging the wrapped chicken roll in water is okay; if your pan is shallow, cover pan for even cooking
  7. Keep water just at a simmer for poaching (not at a hard boil) to avoid overcooking
  8. Don’t overheat skillet; keep to medium-high heat for breast roll cooking
  9. Consider using herbs in the sauce, like rosemary
  10. If you over-reduce sauce, add a little water or beef stock back in
  11. Serve with Carmelized Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients for spinach and cheese stuffing

  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • Gruyère cheese (alternatives are feta, cheddar, parmesan, whatever you like)
  • black pepper
  • salt

Ingredients for chicken

  • chicken breasts
  • thin-cut bacon
  • olive oil

Ingredients for sauce 

  • drippings from stuffed breast cooking
  • ¼ cup Marsala wine
  • approximately 2 tablespoons beef stock
  • pat of butter

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breast 

Stuffing Steps

  • Add 4 cups spinach to dry pan over medium-high heat until it wilts down; yield will be approximately ¾ cup
  • Take spinach off heat to let cool on a paper towel to wick off moisture
  • Chop spinach coarsely
  • Mix spinach in with grated cheese; cheese will melt slightly
  • Grind in salt and pepper to taste
  • Set aside in refrigerator

Chicken Preparation

  • Lay plastic wrap over cutting board (waxed paper also works)
  • Place chicken breast on plastic wrap, then fold wrap over the breast
  • Tap chicken with meat mallot or even empty wine bottle until it’s fully flattened out; continue until the chicken is as thin as you can get it, about ¼ inch
  • Set aside

Assembly Steps

  • Lay out several pieces of bacon on plastic wrap, touching, side by side 
  • Place flattened chicken on top of bacon strips (a few inches of bacon will stick out on one side; the extra can be trimmed, but if you leave it, you get a better seal plus  the bonus of added bacon flavor)
  • Add stuffing down the middle of the breast, then spread out evenly
  • Wash hands
  • Trim plastic wrap so end is lined up near edge of chicken (opposite from overlapped bacon side)
  • Starting at newly cut plastic edge, gently roll the layers, pulling up plastic as you go. Then tuck in the plastic a little, rolling again, pulling up plastic, tucking back in and so forth, until you reach the end of the roll. The chicken seals on itself and the overlapped bacon wraps around the roll, creating an even better seal.
  • The chicken roll will still be sitting on top of the plastic at this point. Now roll the chicken tightly with the plastic so the plastic forms a seal all the way around the roll
  • Twist plastic at the ends of the roll creating a watertight package
  • Roll this plastic package into aluminum foil in the same way you rolled the chicken roll into the plastic, twisting the ends; this is to create a barrier against the water when the chicken is poached

Cooking Steps

  • Add foil-wrapped package to simmering pan of water and cover for even cooking
  • Poach for 20 minutes
  • If bundle is not fully submerged, turn it over halfway through poaching
  • Remove breast package from pan and let rest for 5-10 minutes for easily handling
  • Snip off ends of foil and then unwrap breast
  • Add salt and pepper over entire stuffed package
  • Add chicken roll to skillet heated to medium-high and coated with olive oil; you should hear sizzling when you add the roll
  • Leave alone until bacon browns on the first side, then keep turning it and browning the bacon until all sides are cooked; the process takes about 10 minutes
  • Take out and let rest on cutting board for about 5-8 minutes
  • Turn off heat

Sauce Steps

  • Remove most of fat from pan, leaving drippings
  • Turn heat back up
  • Add Marsala wine to pan to deglaze
  • With wooden spoon, scrape brown bits from drippings and mix into wine
  • Keep cooking to reduce wine by half
  • Add beef stock
  • Keep cooking to again, reduce down by half
  • Salt and pepper to taste, and add herbs, if desired
  • Turn off heat
  • Add pat of butter and mix in

Final Assembly Steps

  • Slice chicken breast roll on the bias, approximately ½” thick
  • Prepare plate with several slices of the stuffed roll and whatever sides you choose
  • Drizzle sauce over, but don’t overdo 

Wine Recommendation for Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breast

Selecting a wine for our bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breast can appear to be a challenge since I could choose to match one of several tastes: the rich bacon and cheese flavor, the mild chicken flavor, the meaty sauce flavor or the refreshing, slightly tart spinach flavor. But I’m going to think of the overall taste of the dish, which is really richness punctuated with a little tang. A sauvignon blanc would do a fine job of cutting the richness while complementing the tanginess.

Total Time: 
120minutes
Prep Time: 
75minutes
Cook Time: 
45minutes
Cuisine: 
American
Course: 
Main