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Monday, March 2, 2009

Spinach & Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

This past weekend my in-laws were down for a visit. Noting it was -20C we thought it was a good time to check out the Canadian War Museum for the afternoon. I was really impressed by the layout and content of the exhibits ranging from the wars of the First Peoples, the French and the British to the World Wars. I learned so much about the role of Canadians in many a wars, some of which I’d learned about in grade school but had since forgotten the details.

Even though you can never understand war unless you lived through it as a civilian or soldier it provided great insight into what it must have been like. So much of the knowledge we get about war is romanticized through the media that hearing accounts of living in the trenches by actual veterans (filled with rats, urine, feces, decomposing bodies, no food, wet, cold); seeing the brutal weapons used during war time, as well as seeing the overly simple surgical kits used to treat soldiers’ wounds brings one to their knees in disgust and can bring one that much closer to understanding the sheer brutality and violence of war.

If you live in Ottawa or are here to visit I’d recommend checking it out. It took us about 2 hours to walk through it. But one could easily spend 4 hours there.

Afterwards we came back to the house to enjoy a nice meal. I’ve wanted to make spinach and goat cheese stuffed chicken for a while. I was impressed by the simplicity, the taste and beautiful presentation of this dish. The chicken was tender and the silky smooth texture of the melted cheese was heavenly. I kind of winged the ingredients and did not measure them, so basically you can adjust the following ingredients to your liking. We were talking a lot while I was preparing the dish, so I just realized I did not even add any seasoning. I think it was good without seasoning, but one could add some more flavour with rosemary, saffron or make a nice mushroom and white wine sauce to go over it.

Spinach & Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

4 large chicken breasts
2-3 T butter
10oz bag of baby spinach
¼ white onion
½ to ¾ cup sliced cremini or button mushrooms
1 cup creamy goat cheese
Ground pepper
½ cup chicken stock or white wine

Place chicken breasts in the center of a plastic food storage bag and pound out the chicken from the center of the bag outward using a meat mallet, evenly flattening the breasts.

In a large skillet melt 1 T butter over med-high heat. Add the spinach and sautee until wilted. Set aside. Once cooled drain and squeeze the excess water out of the spinach.

In the same skillet melt 1 T butter over med-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and sautee until tender about 5 minutes.

In a medium to large bowl add the spinach, mushrooms and onion and goat cheese and ground pepper. Mix or cream together the mixture until well blended. Start with a bit of cheese and add more as desired.

Now spoon the mixture into the center of the chicken or slightly to the right of the center. Now roll the chicken breast over the mixture, as you would tortillas and secure with toothpick(s). Repeat for all 4 chicken breasts.

Place the 4 chicken breasts in the same skillet (oven proof with lid) and add the chicken stock or white wine to the skillet.

Cover and bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour.

Serve immediately with lemon butter green beans. You can slice the chicken breasts and serve them in a fan shape or serve whole.

Also try Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce

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VeggieGirl said...

Sounds like a great exhibit!!

Bellini Valli said...

If anyone knows me at all they would know this is the perfect combionation of flavours for me!!!Spinach, goat cheese and chicken!!!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow that looks so good! YUMMMM

Lo said...

Mmm. I love a nice stuffed chicken breast. So much pizzazz with not-so-much effort. Goat cheese and spinach is such a classic combo.

sue bette said...

Totally agree with Bellini Valli spinach + goat cheese + chicken is a top notch combo!

Reeni♥ said...

I love history-sounds really interesting. I am loving this chicken! Such delicious flavors together!

Sophie said...

The ingredients sound delicious together :), I like how the chicken breast still looks so moist!

Snooky doodle said...

oh this looks delicious. I love it :)

Helene said...

They were spoiled. What a great meal. And the museum is worth a visit.

RecipeGirl said...

This is the best- I believe I've tried a similar recipe before. Goat cheese is good in everything!!

Nicisme said...

That stuffing looks wonderful!

Psychgrad said...

I think I'm due for a stuffed chicken recipe.

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