Stuffed chicken is just so delightful. Every bite is wonderful, but even better when the chicken absorbs the flavor of its stuffing. We definitely don't make enough stuffed chicken and with this recipe you'll be saying the same. We recently made pimento cheese stuffed chicken but were too hungry and exhausted to photograph it (ho hum). This one is an original Stout recipe and it's supreme if I must say so myself. Of course, how can you go wrong with spinach, blue cheese and bacon? It's easy to throw together and would be quick if it wasn't for cooking a whole package of bacon. If you happen to have pre-cooked bacon laying around, you can use that and use olive oil for the chicken pan instead of bacon grease. Serves 4.
Note: The secret to a exceptional stuffed chicken breast is knowing your oven and paying close attention to the done-ness of your breast. Not all chicken cook times are the same. You have to take into consideration the breast size (haha) and thickness of your meat (whoa). Since stuffed breasts are half as thin as a normal breast, they're easily overcooked which will sabotage an otherwise great main course. So pay attention to the chicken as it cooks.
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 6oz. package baby spinach (8 cups)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup blue cheese
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 pieces bacon
- 2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (3-4 halves)
- Salt, to sprinkle
- Pepper, to sprinkle
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon (we go ahead and cook the whole pack and save the leftovers for later meals). Cook and transfer to a paper towel to cool. Drain nearly all the grease into a melt-safe container to toss later. Set aside pan with reserved bacon grease for cooking chicken later. Once cooled, crumble 2 pieces of the bacon.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, saute for 30 seconds, then add spinach in batches. Saute until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, combine spinach, blue cheese, flour, and bacon pieces.
- Cut a 1-inch-wide slit into the thick end of chicken breast halves, and carefully cut down to center of chicken to form a pocket.
- Divide spinach mixture evenly among chicken pockets. Secure with wooden picks.
- Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the large skillet with reserved bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add chicken, salt-peppered side down. Salt and pepper the other sides of chicken while they are in the skillet. Sauté 4 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook for an additional 1 minute.
- Place skillet in oven and bake at 350° for 12 minutes; let stand 5 minutes.