Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta

What?  How'd that get on my baking blog?  Well, I just want ya'll to know that I do cook, too!  I'd been feeling like I was making the kids eat hot dogs and Kevin fend for himself a little too often and after I found this recipe I knew I wanted to make it.  This was really good!  Even the kids liked it!  So even though I didn't take very many pictures or any that were all that great, I wanted to share this yummy chicken recipe with you.

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta (from Allrecipes, adapted by Katrina)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons (2 cloves) garlic

10 oz. washed fresh spinach (I only used about 8 oz.)

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

8 oz. ricotta cheese

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (I used oregano)

salt and pepper to taste

bacon (the recipes says 8 slices, I used more than that)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic, cook and stir just until it becomes aromatic, 30 second to 1 minute.  Quickly stir in spinach and continue cooking until the spinach has wilted.Transfer the mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool.

Slice through each chicken breast horizontally but not all the way through.  Open the meat like a book.  Place each opened chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound to a thickness of 1/4 inch. 

Stir the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, seasonings and onion powder into the cooked spinach until blended.  Lay each chicken breast out and evenly divide the spinach mixture among the chicken, then roll each into an oblong shape.  Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with Italian seasoning .  Wrap each breast with 2-4 pieces of bacon and secure with toothpicks.  (You'll see in my photos, I did some full breast size and some cut in half.  I wish I would have done them all the smaller size, but they both worked.  On a few I was having a hard time getting all the stuff to stay inside, so I just kept wrapping it in bacon and securing it with toothpicks.  It worked great.)

Put them in a heated non-stick skillet (No need to oil, as plenty comes out of the bacon!)  Brown on all sides, 10-15 minutes.  Transfer pan (oven safe, or transfer to a baking dish) to oven and bake 15-20 minutes.  Slice through a piece to make sure the chicken is no longer pink.  Remove from oven and allow to rest 5 minutes.  Remove toothpicks before serving.

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Shh, don't tell anyone, but I'm not the biggest bacon lover.  I don't love to just eat piece after piece of it, but I did really like the flavor it gave to this chicken (I still pulled the bacon off my piece and just ate the chicken.)  The combination of the bacon flavored chicken and that yummy cheese/spinach filly was SO good.  Like I said, the kids even really liked it.  The smaller pieces were perfect sized wrapped bundles of goodness!

To serve with this delicious chicken, I also made some acorn squash with cranberry apple stuffing.  I got the recipe for this here at Elana's Pantry

Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Stuffing (adapted)

1 acorn squash

1 apple (I used honey crisp), peeled, cored and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1-2 tablespoons chopped pecans

1 tablespoon Smart Balance Buttery Spread, melted (you can use butter or oil, too)

Cut squash in half and remove pulp and seeds.  Place squash in a large Pyrex baking dish, cut-side down.  Pour 1/4 inch hot water into dish.  Place dish in oven and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Combine chopped apples, cranberries, cinnamon, pecans and butter.  Remove squash from oven after the 30 minutes.  Turn halves over and stuff center of each with apple mixture.  Return to oven and bake 30-35 minutes until squash and apples are tender.

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I actually only stuffed one half of the squash as Kevin doesn't like fruit mixed with "savory".  I LOVE IT.  Scott loves squash.  I think he had seconds or thirds.  So, I do make meals--I don't just bake.  In fact, I didn't bake anything today!  (Helps that I was gone all day.)  Back to baking tomorrow, got a few things up my sleeves!  You gotta try this chicken!

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6 comments:

Lisa said...

What a delicious dinner!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I thought that I had arrived on the wrong blog, lol! Looks delicious and I know I would love it. Don't worry, I'll eat your pieces of bacon, ahahah!

Sue said...

That looks like a wonderful dinner! Thanks for sharing!

Darius T. Williams said...

Looks great - and anything wrapped in bacon is bound to taste absolutely delicious!

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

Claire said...

That chicken looks AWESOME!!!! I would pull the bacon off, too...but I think that it helps keep the chicken moist. Mmm!!

Lisa said...

I thought I was the only one who wasn't crazy about bacon. I'm more of a link sausage person. Still, I know I'd find your chicken irresistible.