Feta, Spinach, and Pine Nut Stuffed Chicken


I try to stretch myself as a cook, and one way to do that is to try new recipes.  I like to try at least one new recipe each week.  This expands your ingredient and technique horizons and wards off boredom with cooking.  Here's an example of a new recipe.  Unfortunately, you don't always end up with firework endings.  The chicken was just OK to me so I probably won't be making it again, but you might love it, so I'm sharing it with you.

It's a fairly healthy and quick recipe I got out of the September 2010 issue of Cooking Light.  I was attracted by the stuffing, and that didn't disappoint.  What I was mainly disappointed with was the chicken breast itself.  We usually buy thighs for their extra flavor and moisture retention qualities, and cooking with chicken breast made me remember why.  If you love chicken breasts, you may equally love this dish.  If I ever make this again, I'll use thighs.  Also, you cook the chicken in a sort of braising liquid made of chicken broth, which serves as a great sort of sauce for the chicken.  Very flavorful.

This dish comes together fairly easily.  You start by sauteing spinach in a pan until it's all wilty and dark green.  Clean your pan and drain the spinach.  Then, cut slits in the chicken and stuff it with filling made with the spinach, feta, pine nuts, and garlic.  Mmm mmm.  Then, sear the chicken on both sides, add the broth, and finish in the oven. 

We served this with acorn squash, which I'll share with you in the next post.  It was our favorite part of the meal!  So, if you try this let me know what you think.  You can post a comment by clicking on the black speech bubble at the top of the post.  Happy cooking! 

Below is the recipe with a link to the original webpage.  From there, you can watch a video on how to make this dish.

Chicken Stuffed with Feta, Spinach, and Pine Nuts
from September 2010 Cooking Light

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°.

Heat a large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach to pan; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts, tossing constantly. Place spinach in a colander; press until barely 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° for 15 minutes or until done.

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