Greg had a marathon day yesterday at work, so I thought a nice dinner would be a welcome finish to the day (ok, maybe I was trying to sneak in a little healthy food too, since the dog-walking and cardio and down-dogging is all being done now by yours truly). I adapted a recipe from Food Network for stuffed chicken (using fresher ingredients), and Greg reports that it was in the top three chicken dishes he's ever had! He didn't remember the other two at the time, but no matter.
Here's the recipe:
Make the filling (you can even do this a day ahead):
1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven with cooking spray or EVOO and butter. Dump in the mushrooms, shallot and garlic. Saute about 5 minutes, adding a bit of salt and pepper as it's cooking. Put in the bowl of a food processor and let it cool just a bit.
2. While that's cooling, put a splash of wine in the pot. Throw in the spinach, cover and wilt on medium heat for about 90 seconds. It should be a gorgeous shade of green. Remove from pot, put it in a bowl and stick it in the fridge to stop cooking (can also just nestle the bowl in a larger bowl of ice). Turn off heat.
3. Chop the mushroom mixture in the food processor. Take the bowl of spinach, remove any excess liquid, then add the mushroom mixture. Add the ricotta and the Parmesan. Zest lemon over the top and squeeze in about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Add nutmeg. Mix gently.
4. Pound out chicken in a zipper bag with mallet so it's super-thin. Try not to let it look like Swiss cheese. I tend to make this mistake. Put a generous heap of stuffing on one end of each piece, and roll it gently, tucking in the sides and then securing with toothpicks. It will be messy, but don't worry.
5. Turn heat back on - medium is good. Put in a bit of EVOO or cooking spray, and saute the chicken (give each piece room so they caramelize), browning on all sides and removing carefully to a glass dish or bowl which you can cover to keep in the moisture as they're done.
6. When all the chicken is done, add the butter and flour to the pan to make a roux. Now whisk in the wine and reduce it for a few minutes, then add broth, making sure you scrape up those lovely flavor bits. Return chicken to pan, reduce heat to a simmer and spoon the sauce over the top. It will be ready to serve in just a couple of minutes. Remove the toothpicks before plating or just warn your loved ones that they're on their own with the wooden spear removal.
Enjoy with a side of quinoa cooked with Herbes de Provence, and roasted asparagus (for medium thickness stalks, roast with EVOO and garlic/herbs at 375 degrees for 6 minutes in a metal pan - they will be very crisp and sweet).
NOTE - if you are a vegetarian, try making the filling and using wonton wrappers to make ravioli out of it. Serve with a nice vegetable broth with snipped scallions. Or, you could mix the filling into piping hot wheat pasta.