I think one staple of home cooking almost everyone has in common is chicken. Chicken is healthy, versatile, and you would be hard pressed to find someone who just does not like it. The problem with chicken is the fact that it gets old pretty quick. Finding new recipes and ways to prepare chicken gets difficult sometimes, especially if you don’t have a grill at your disposal. I was trying to think of a solution to this particular quandary myself this week and I had a revelation last night. Stuffed chicken.
Stuffing chicken breasts isn’t something most people consider when trying to come up with ideas for dinner. The truth is, it’s not as hard to do as most people are led to believe. With a few simple cuts of the knife, some creativity, and just a dash of self-confidence you too can add stuffed chicken breast to your battery of recipes.
In order to stuff chicken, the first thing you need to master is the art of the butterfly cut. First you should rinse your chicken breast with cool water and pat it dry with a paper towel so that it isn’t as slippery and you maintain more control while cutting. Lay the meat on your cutting board and place your hand on top in order to keep it steady. Using a large chef’s knife, make a horizontal cut through the center of the chicken breast making sure to stop before you cut all the way through the meat. Open your newly cut chicken breast so that the cut surface is facing up and there you have your typical butterfly cut. You are now ready to stuff your chicken, and at this point, the sky is the limit.
The way I decided to prepare my chicken was simple and delicious. First, I decided to use a variation on the butterfly cut and created a pocket in four chicken breasts. This particular cut is optional and should only be used if you feel confident enough with your knife skills. The recipe works just as well with the traditional butterfly cut. Next, in a medium bowl I mixed a handful of fresh baby spinach, a quarter of a purple onion chopped, and several chopped fresh white mushrooms. You should feel free to adjust the ratio of these ingredients to fit your particular taste buds. Being a lover of cheese, I couldn’t omit this piece of deliciousness from my recipe. I put a healthy slice of provolone in the pocket of my chicken and then put a quarter of my mixture of veggies on top of the cheese. After seasoning the outside of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, I placed them on a greased baking dish uncovered in the oven. After baking for about 25 minutes at 375F, my delicious concoction was ready.