I have been in a real slump lately which doesn’t usually happen to me but I have not been able to find any inspiration. It had gotten so bad that I really thought, well this is it, it’s time to put the blog to rest. It took a road trip to Chattanooga where I stopped at every roadside stand, farm, market, and distillery I could find between here and there to push me in the right direction.
One of the first places I stopped was an organic chicken farm outside Indy. Today I am sharing a pan-seared chicken stuffed with herb mozzarella and served on braised spinach. Healthy and light; an ideal Spring dish.
Over the next few weeks, or until my own garden starts to produce, I’m going to be sharing some of the inspiration that I found on this trip. Much like today’s recipe, the dishes are seasonally inspired.
Prepare the Chicken:
Place 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts on a cutting board. Using a chef’s knife place the tip into the thickest part of the chicken breast and cut an opening about 3 inches wide and 3/4 of the way through the breast to create a pocket.
👩🍳 TIP: Sometimes the chicken breast is pounded out with a mallet and the cheese is placed in the center and rolled up, but I really prefer the slit method if the breast are large. It just nestles the cheese in the center creating a beautiful silky center.
In a medium bowl mix 1 cup low fat shredded mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoon chopped sundried tomatoes, 2 tablespoons minced scallions, 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, and 1 clove minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff the filling into the pocket of each chicken breast and secure with toothpicks.
Sear the Chicken:
Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer, about 3 minutes. Carefully add the chicken and cook for 5 to 7 minutes undisturbed. Turn the chicken over and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165°F. Remove the chicken breasts to a plate and let rest.
👩🍳TIP: You can sear the chicken 5 minutes on each side and finish baking the chicken in a 300°F oven for 15 – 20 minutes; cover with foil to keep the chicken from drying out.
Wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add 2 cups of loosely packed fresh spinach to skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for 1 – 2 minutes. Remove the spinach to a plate and add 2 more cups of spinach to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
👩🍳TIP: Spinach wilts very quickly. Keep heat at medium and toss as you
Add 1 cup of spinach to a serving plate. I like to serve stuffed chicken breasts sliced to show off the stuffed goodness. Lay the chicken slices over the spinach. Repeat with remaining spinach and chicken.
Chicken breast is my go-to when I want light and healthy. Using a low-fat mozzarella stuffing give the dish some interest and keeps it light and healthy. You will love this tender cooked chicken filled with a gooey melt in your mouth cheese. – Ella💙
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese shredded
- 2 tablespoon sundried tomatoes chopped
- 2 tablespoons scallions, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups fresh spinach, loosely packed
Place a chicken breast on a cutting board. Press a hand on top of the breast and carefully insert the tip of a chef’s knife into the thickest part of the chicken breast. Cut an opening about 3 inches wide, then cut 3/4 of the way through the breast to create a pocket without cutting all the way through. Repeat with the remaining breasts.
In a medium bowl mix the cheese, sundried tomatoes, scallions, chives, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix until blended.
Spoon the filling into the pocket of each chicken breast. Secure the seam with toothpicks.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes.
Carefully add the chicken and cook for 5 to 7 minutes undisturbed.
Turn the chicken over and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165°F.
Remove the chicken breasts to a plate and let rest.
Clean out the skillet using paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste and cover; cook 5 minutes; remove from heat.