Recipe by Toby Jermain
Found this at WholeFoods.com yesterday. It just jumped up a grabbed me by the throat while I was calmly crusin', and I just had to fix my version of it for dinner. It was great! Luckily we had everything in the larder, or I would have just HAD to go to the store; it grabbed me that hard! One of these days, I will share my recipes for spinach salad and brown rice pilaf that really go well with it.
Top Review by sugarpea
These were good, Toby. Very pretty little packages, dinner party worthy. I was disappointed in the amount of goat cheese left by the time they were cooked. Next time I think I'll double up on the cheese and somehow stretch that pretty chicken to cover it. I used the sweet paprika, oil instead of butter and skinless breasts (because that's what I had) and it was yummy.
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves, fat discarded,washed,patted dry,and gently pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
- 4 -5 ounces goat cheese, mild or aged,at room temperature
- 2 bunches fresh spinach, stemmed,washed,drained,and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 -3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, minced or 1⁄4 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, lightly crushed
- 1⁄2 cup drained chopped jarred roasted red pepper (optional)
- 3 -4 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives or 3 -4 tablespoons other mediterranean olives
- 1 -2 tablespoon chopped capers
- 1⁄4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons butter (preferred) or 2 tablespoons olive oil, for brushing chicken,divided
- sweet paprika (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)
- nonstick cooking spray
Directions See How It's Made
- Heat olive oil in a large deep pot over medium-high heat, and saute the garlic, shallot, and thyme for 2 minutes, until softened.
- Add the spinach, and saute for 1 minute longer, until just wilted, but still bright green and not mushy.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and let cool enough to handle.
- Squeeze about half of the spinach dry using your hands; you should have a tennis ball size mass after squeezing.
- Refrigerate the remaining spinach for another use, and coarsely chop the squeezed ball of spinach.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Spray an 8"x8" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, mix the optional roasted red peppers with the olives, capers, optional walnuts, and balsamic vinegar.
- Combine this mixture with the softened goat cheese, and set aside.
- If desired, divided in quarters, and refrigerate until firm (recommended, but not required).
- Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and place breasts skin-side down on a flat surface.
- Spread about one quarter of the spinach mixture in the center of each pounded chicken breast.
- Evenly divide the goat cheese mixture among the chicken breasts, placing a piece in the center of each breast.
- Fold the sides of each breast up and around the filling to form a more or less ball shaped package, sealing the bottom of the chicken packages as well as possible without getting fanatical about it.
- Place the chicken in prepared baking pan, pretty side up.
- Brush with about half of the butter, and sprinkle to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cover with aluminum foil, and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Turn oven to broil.
- Uncover chicken, brush with remaining butter, and sprinkle with a little optional paprika, if desired, and broil just until the chicken is nicely browned.
- Place the chicken on a serving platter and sprinkle with parsley if desired.
- Serve with brown rice and a spinach salad dressed with vinaigrette and homemade croutons.
- Serves 4.