Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Ricotta, Spinach & Bacon Stuffed Chicken

I came up with this recipe after having a hankerin' for some of my favourite flavours - sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, bacon and chicken. I actually had a harder time coming up with a title for this dish than actually making it. Should I call it "Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken", Piggies Wrapped in a Poultry Blanket" ... ??? So many of my favourite flavours in this one dish. :)

This recipe takes a bit of patience. Putting the filling onto the chicken breasts then rolling them up takes a bit of time ... but the end result is worth it. Not only is the filling beautiful with the colours of the spinach, tomatoes and olives but it tastes wonderful too!

Serve with garlic mashed potatoes (because you can NEVER get enough garlic!) and steamed green beans. Yum!

Yield: 4 servings

4 chicken breasts, pounded into 1/2-inch thickness
1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach, stems removed
237g (1/2 container) ricotta cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 strips of bacon, cooked and diced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (oil packed), drained well and finely diced
1/8 cup black olives, finely diced (optional)
1/2 cup cheddar or mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a medium glass bowl, microwave spinach on high for 3 minutes (stirring after each minute). Press spinach between some paper towel to remove excess water. Chop finely. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, garlic, bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, olives (if using), cheddar cheese, oregano and basil. Mix well and set aside. (Tip: Make this mixture ahead of time to allow the flavours to blend - preferrably 1 hour).

Pour olive oil in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, pour bread crumbs.

Place a large spoonful of the ricotta mixture onto each chicken breast. Roll so that the mixture is covered by the chicken; secure with toothpicks if necessary. Carefully dip each chicken breast in olive oil, then bread crumbs. Place seam side down in a large baking dish. If there is extra ricotta mixture, sprinkle over each chicken breast before baking.

Bake for 40 minutes. Increase heat to 450F and broil for a few minutes or until browned. Keep an eye on it while it's broiling!

Tip for Pounding Chicken Breasts: Place chicken breasts in between two pieces of plastic wrap. Place on a cutting board and pound until desired thickness.


Mags said...

Oh wow... all my favorite ingredients in one recipe. This sounds fabulous.

I love the "Piggies Wrapped in a Poultry Blanket"....LOL!

Laurie said...

Mags: I should have named it "Piggies in a Poultry Blanket", I guess lol. There was just so many other flavours I was leaving out of the title so I didn't go for it.
I should make this recipe soon so I can get a picture of it. If anyone makes it and wants to take a picture of it. I'd appreciate it if you'd email me the pic. :)

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