Dinner Rush! Spinach-Artichoke Stuffed Chicken
There’s a reason spinach-artichoke dip is on so many restaurant menus – it’s based on a flawless combination. You can’t lose when tender artichokes and a blend of sharp cheeses make nice with just enough bright green spinach to make it feel at least a little bit healthy.
This mash-up version saves you some room for dessert by cutting out a lot of the extra fat that the dip would otherwise have. Using a blend of bold cheeses, then packaging the whole thing up in a juicy chicken breast means plenty of creamy indulgence without the extra cream.
If you’re feeling extra ambitious, this is a great dish to prep ahead of time and serve later in the week. Simply cook the filling and chill it completely, then stuff the chicken and wrap each portion in plastic. In the time it would take you to wait for that table for two, an excellent weeknight meal will be at the ready and on your plate.
Place a large saute pan over medium heat with butter. Add shallot and garlic; cook until aromatic, 1 minute. Add artichoke hearts, spinach, thyme and parsley; cook until spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in cheeses. Season with salt and pepper. Set filling aside to cool slightly.
Place chicken breasts in the center of a large plastic food-storage bag or between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Pound out the chicken from the center outward, using a heavy-bottomed skillet or a mallet, to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Arrange chicken on a cutting board and season with salt and pepper. Divide prepared filling among the pieces, placing it on one half of the chicken and leaving a 1/4-inch border around the edge. Fold the top half of the chicken breast down to enclose the filling. Secure the meat closed using toothpicks as needed.
Place a large saute pan over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Sear the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove toothpicks before serving.
Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione and Bobby Deen, he now works on digital production for FoodNetwork.com, CookingChannelTV.com and Food.com in NYC by day and develops recipes at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Twitter & Instagram at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.