Spring-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Spring-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Spring is here!  Spring is here!  70 degree weather and sunny skies!

Wait, right now it’s 40 degrees with a chance of snow…

Oh well–the spring produce is showing up in the stores and we can’t get enough of it.  The thing I’m most excited about is the asparagus–who doesn’t love those crunchy green stalks?  Recently we’ve been putting it in every meal, from risottos to stirfrys.  But last night I had absolutely no inspiration.  Chicken breast with a side of asparagus?  Boring.  But wait, I also had goat cheese in the fridge, and some mushrooms, and an open bottle of wine…

And then it happened.  Stuffed chicken breasts with goat cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and asparagus baked inside.  So healthy it made me a little nervous.  But when it popped out of the oven, it was nothing short of amazing.  And paired with some sauteed spinach and pine nuts, Frank and I spent that snowy spring evening with a light meal that trumped Mad Men Season 2 (which is hard to do).

Stuffed Chicken Breasts
serves 2

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (on the thin side)
1/2 cup chopped baby bella mushrooms
1 tbsp port wine or another flavorful red
1 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
8 asparagus stalks, ends trimmed off
salt, pepper, and herbs de provence

Season two chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence.  Preheat oven to 450.

Meanwhile, saute mushrooms until brown.  Add the port wine and continue cooking until wine is absorbed by the ‘shrooms.

Top the chicken breasts with the goat cheese, followed by the mushrooms, and finally the asparagus spears.    Wrap the chicken around the fillings and tie in place with some butcher’s twine.  The chicken rolls will be very full, so don’t worry if you have some stray mushrooms that don’t want to stay inside.  Place the rolled chicken breasts seam-side down into a small baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 20 minutes or until done.

Sauteed spinach with toasted pine nuts and parmesan

6 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried.
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Add olive oil to a skillet and place over medium heat.  Add spinach gradually until all of it is wilted (about 7 minutes).  Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts over medium high heat.  Watch these carefully because they will burn easily.

Toss spinach with pine nuts and cheese.

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