I had a recipe similar to this on my pinterest for ages and decided to rework it just a bit: It’s a beautiful thing, a breast stuffed with feta cheese, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes.
While a toothpick or two could easily hold these breasts together, I can’t resist a bit of drama in the presentation – and so bundled them together with string. Much easier than rolling and so much cooler than toothpicks, imho! Close them up however you’d like, though.
What was lacking in the original recipe was a little spice. And although it’s meant to be healthy, I thought it was just a shame to waste those lovely drippings, so a bit of sauce was in order. Optional, of course.
And why not add a few carrots to roast along with the chicken? Oven roasted carrots are divine – just a little olive oil and hint of salt brings out their sweetness.
A bit of rice is all that’s needed to complete this meal. And this is my kind of meal: just chi chi enough to look all gourmet when really it’s all very doable. Best of all, everyone ate their spinach – it was all tucked inside and tasted wonderful with the melty cheese & sun dried tomatoes.
Watch sales & look for coupons on the sun-dried tomatoes and the Feta cheese. The packaged crumbles might look less expensive but ounce for ounce the blocks are usually a better value. Feta can be frozen if you use a partial block and aren’t sure when you’ll get back to it. Loose spinach is often 4 to 10 times less than the packaged varieties, too, by the way.
Feta & Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- 8 carrots, prepared as directed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt to taste (for the carrots)
Stuffed Chicken Breasts:
- 4 boneless skinless, chicken breasts, each about 5 ounces
- 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta (water packed is best)
- 9 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, finely diced and about a teaspoon & 1/2 of the flavored oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 2 cups fresh spinach, lightly chopped, stems removed
- garlic salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional if needed
Sauce Ingredients, Optional
- 1 – 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup salad dressing (I used Honey Citrus but Italian or any other oil based vinaigrette will work)
- 1 teaspoon butter
Pre-heat oven to 400F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Cut 4 pieces of string about 2 1/2 feet long.
Prepare carrots by cutting into 4″ lengths and cutting the larger pieces in half lengthwise. Add to sheet pan on one side and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss together and place in oven and cook for about 20 minutes while you prepare the chicken.
While the carrots are having their head start, make a cut horizontally into, but not through, the chicken breast, forming a pocket. Make small shallow cuts to ensure the pocket is as deep and large as can be while still keeping the breast intact.
In a small bowl, mix together the feta, the sun-dried tomatoes, the teaspoon and a half of oil from the tomatoes and the Italian seasoning.
Working with one breast at a time, open it up and lay in 1/4 of the cheese mixture and top with a quarter of the spinach. When the breasts are all stuffed, tie each breast up, encasing the filling in the breast. Trim any extra string. Sprinkle as desired with garlic salt.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add about two tablespoons olive oil. Brown each breast, turning as needed. Remove the sheet pan with the carrots from the oven and add the chicken. Replace in the oven and continue to bake for about 11 to 12 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and tests 165 degrees in the center.
Meanwhile, pour off excess olive oil from pan the breasts were sauteed in. Allow to cool slightly, then add a teaspoon of chopped garlic and 1/2 cup wine. Place back on burner and reduce the wine by half, then add 1/2 cup Honey Citrus Vinaigrette (or other vinaigrette of your choice.)
Scrape the bottom of the pan, reduce again by half. Set aside off heat and while somewhat cooled, yet still warm, add about a teaspoon of butter, stirring gently till melted and the sauce is emulsified. (Do not add the drippings from the sheet pan; too much oil and too hot will break the sauce.)
Rest chicken for five minutes before serving with the carrots. Drizzle each breast with a little of the sauce.
This is a special week for me: I’m still cohosting Throwback Thursday with Quinn, Carlee, Meaghan & Alli (click on the link) of course, but I’m also a cohost on Angie’s Fiesta Friday! Scarlett from the Unwed Housewife is my cohost, so stop by and check out her blog, too. 🙂