September 19, 2010

...Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nuts

Family Dinner... September 2010.  Nearly a year after I start the blog and I have a full house for dinner.  So much fun... tight quarters, but fun!  I decided to try a new recipe, which is usually a risk for company, but what better guinea pigs than family, right? 

A bit of a Mediterranean spin on standard baked chicken: spinach, pine nuts, feta and garlic... all stuffed into a pocket (this time on the side of the chicken rather than the top...lesson learned).

And while the chicken bakes: wine... we never forget wine...

Great flavors, but it was missing just a little something... a sauce... more seasoning... not sure.  I'll have to work on this one a bit.  The currant couscous was a great side, though!  All in all, a good choice for a fun, family dinner.

Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nuts
serves 4

5 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large nonstick oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add spinach to pan; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts, tossing constantly.  Place spinach in colander; press until barley moist.  Wipe pan clean.

Combine spinach, cheese, nuts, thyme, juice, and garlic.  Cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket.  Stuff 3 tablespoons filling into each pocket.  Seal with wooden picks.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat.  Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until brown.  Add broth, and cover pan.  Place pan in oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until done.  

Taylor's Notes:

This was a really easy one, especially since I was sure to prep everything before I started cooking.  I knew I'd be distracted with all the company and was sure I'd forget something (which I still did) and wanted to be sure to be able to enjoy my family while I cooked (which I still did).  I missed adding the lemon juice to the spinach / cheese / nut / garlic mixture.  Maybe that's what the end result was missing... I'm sure it would have brightened it a bit, not sure if it would have made all the difference.  

Since there were several of us, I baked the chicken in a 9x13 pan rather than in the skillet that I browned it in.  Other than being one more pan to clean (which Mom did... thanks Mom!), it worked out perfectly.  

I would definitely recommend this recipe... let me know what you think and if you decide to add a little something extra.


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