It’s what inside that matters.

Chicken / July 19, 2014

One of my favorite candies growing up was Tootsie Roll Pops. I am proud to say I was NOT a chewer, instead taking my time and savoring the sweet, fruity, hard candy exterior and coloring my tongue with each patient lick. As it dissolved to reveal the soft, brown, chocolaty center, I always wondered, in my serious, little girl head, “How did they get that stuff inside this hard shell?” Grape, berry, lime; it didn’t matter to me. The fact that the center always held a surprise is what kept me coming back for more.

As time went on, I found other items with a center that drew me in. Pigs in a blanket, Twinkies, even the ol’ standby, a Monte Cristo. I could name hundreds of foods with a “center” that I have eaten, duplicated, shared or reinvented. But for today, I will share my latest stuffed creation, SPINACH, RICOTTA AND PINE NUT STUFFED PAILLARDS WITH A BUTTERY LEMON CREAM SAUCE. I served a lovely Columbia Crest Pinot Gris with it, and as always, shared it with my gorgeous husband, Ron. He’s cute on the outside and kinda nice on the inside, too! — Check out my recipe which is also #fabin40 and full of deliciousness! #caminecooks


Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken with Lemon Cream Sauce

Serves 2 / Increase as needed


Ingredients:

2 boneless chicken breasts, about 5 ounces each (paillards)
¾ C part skim ricotta cheese
1/3 C chopped cooked spinach – all water squeezed out!*
2 T pine nuts
3 T grated fresh parmesan cheese
¼ C chopped onion
Salt and pepper
1/3 C fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 C cream
1 small Yukon gold potato sliced
¼ small red pepper cut into thin strips
3 T olive oil
1 T butter
4 large basil leaves chopped


Direction:

  • Pat chicken dry. Pound out chicken breasts so they’re thin and even all around. Set aside.
  • In a small pan, heat 1 T oil and sweat the onions until transparent. In a bowl, combine spinach, ricotta, parmesan, pine nuts and then the onion. Stir until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Now, lay out the paillards and place a spoonful of filling in the center. Roll over and secure opening with toothpicks and salt and pepper outside generously. (We will remove them later.) In another sauté pan heat the remaining 2 T oil until hot. Place the stuffed paillards in the pan and sear quickly on the outside, turning only once or twice. Place the chicken, and the pan inside a 400 degree oven and finish the chicken for about 5 – 6 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  • While the chicken cooks: Reheat the pan you sweated the onions in, and add the potatoes and the red pepper, and sauté until the edges of the potatoes are caramelized, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat to medium and salt and pepper well. Then add the lemon juice and let the pan deglaze, about a minute. Then add the cream and lower the heat to low. Stir. Let it cook for about a minute or two, remove from heat, add the chopped basil and the butter. Cover.
  • To plate, put the potato mixture on the bottom. Remove the chicken and slice lengthwise into large 2 inch slices. Place over the potatoes and cover with the lemon sauce. Garnish with remaining basil.


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