Stuffed Chicken is one of my favorite dishes, and one of the best cooking techniques you can know. In this recipe video, I show you how to make a chicken breast stuffed with spinach and cheese. The dish itself is really quite simple, but as you can imagine (or at least I hope you can), you can use all kinds of different stuffings, to make a very different dish. In fact, you can use other cuts of chicken…or even other meats altogether, pork, turkey, beef would all work well. Heck you can even stuff some vegetables. In the video, I’ll show you how to make the pocket in the chicken breast, make the stuffing and stuff the bird…and then of course cook it off. It’s simple to do. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Recipe Overview and Keys to Success
To make the best stuffed chicken, make sure you do these few things:
- Follow these directions for stuffing a chicken breast. It’s easy to do, but you have to go a bit by feel, and it make take you couple times to get comfortable. Try not to tear the chicken.
- Getting a good sear on the chicken is important. It adds both flavor and texture.
- You can easily stuff the breasts ahead of time and just cook them off when you’re ready. Just make sure to bring them up to room temperature before cooking…that way it’s easier to get them cooked through properly.This is a dish where you’ll want to get a good sear on the meat. That, along with proper seasoning, gets you a crusty, flavorful skin
- Make sure to use enough stuffing. You want to make sure there is enough to provide flavor and texture contrasts, to the chicken, so while you don’t need it bursting out the whole…you can make sure the pocket is fully filled.
- If you do tear the You don’t need to go bursting the chicken, but you’ve got a fair amount of chicken, so use a fair about stuffing. I like to make sure there’s enough stuffing to give the chicken a slightly cylindrical shape
- Finally, if you do tear a hole in the chicken, cook the side with the hole first. That will help keep the stuffing from falling out.
RECIPE FOR CHICKEN STUFFED WITH SPINACH & CHEESE
Ingredients (for 2 - 3 servings)
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (normal cut, not strips or anything like that)
- 1.5 cups of baby spinach
- 1/4 cups of grated Manchego (or any other favorite) cheese
Making the Stuffed Chicken
- Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the spinach; season with salt and pepper
- Toss the spinach until wilted; with should only take 3 – 4 minutes
- Remove the spinach to a bowl and let it cool
- While cooling make the pocket in the chicken using a small paring knife
- Hold the knife horizontal, and insert (with a stabbing motion) into the thickest part of the breast. Now swivel the tip of the knife, slowly expanding the pocket while keeping the base steady. That will keep the hole the same size, while creating the pocket
- Once cooled, add the grated cheese to the sautéed spinach, mix and taste. Re-season if needed
- Using about a teaspoon of stuffing at a time, fill the pockets in the chicken breasts, move the stuffing throughout the pocket as you go
- Heat your oven to 375 degrees and bring a sauté pan to temperature over medium high heat
- Season the outside of the stuffed chicken with salt and pepper
- Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the hot pan, and add the stuffed chicken breasts to sear
- If you happen to tear a whole in the chicken, put the side with whole on the pan first
- Allow the chicken to sear for 3 – 4 minutes, before turning it over to sear on the other side for 3 – 4 minutes
- Put the whole pan into the oven for another 5 – 8 minutes; until the chicken is cooked through; use a meat thermometer if you’re in doubt
- Make sure to allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes, or the stuffing will ooze out when cut
- After resting, slice on the bias, and serve with the stuffing face up for a great presentation
Wine Recommendation: The flavors here are pretty simple and I think you can go with s nice straight forward Chardonnay. If white’s not your thing, a light red would also work, a easy drinking fruity Pinot Noir would work well.