Simple enough for a weeknight meal but intricate enough to impress guests, this recipe combines savory shallots and spinach with gooey cheese to create a surefire dinnertime winner. View the recipe from Chef John Patterson below, and learn more about shallots, our featured ingredient of the month, from Registered Dietitian Abigail Gottshall.
Chicken Breast Stuffed with Shallots and Spinach
By John Patterson
For the Shallots
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 to 4 large shallots
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
For the Chicken
- Four 6-ounce boneless chicken breasts
- Large plastic food storage bags
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 10 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup shallots, caramelized and julienned (recipe follows)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 1 large cage-free egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Sauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Heat oil over medium heat in a 6-inch oven-proof sauté pan. Add shallots and sugar and toss to coat. Cook until shallots start to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, then add the vinegar. Place in the oven and cook until tender and golden brown, about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the shallots. Do not turn the oven off when shallots are done.
While the shallots are cooking, prepare the chicken. Place the chicken in a plastic bag. Using a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken until the breasts are approximately ¼-inch thick. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, add butter, garlic, and spinach. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl, then add the shallots, cream cheese, parmesan, ricotta, and egg. Mix well. Place about a quarter cup of stuffing on each breast, then roll the chicken over the stuffing. Secure the chicken with toothpicks.
In a medium-sized skillet, add olive oil and place the skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, brown the chicken on all sides. Remove chicken, place it on a baking sheet, and place in the oven to finish cooking. Remove when the internal temperature reaches 165° F.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. In the skillet used to brown the chicken, add the butter and flour and whisk until a roux is formed. Add the white wine and stir, then add the chicken stock. Reduce heat to a simmer until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, remove the toothpicks from the chicken. For presentation, you may bias-cut* the stuffed chicken breasts and lay them on the plate so that they overlap one another. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately. Serve over winter wild rice.
*Bias cutting - cutting on the diagonal