Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

There's nothing better than ending a perfect weekend with a perfect homemade meal, and that's exactly what I did last night. One of my favorite parts about living with a boyfriend is having a reason to cook. When I was single and living alone, I didn't have too much motivating me to go out and buy a whole basket of groceries to cook up a meal that wasn't just chicken nuggets or scrambled eggs.

Why go through all the trouble when it's just my tastebuds who will be eating and who also will be just fine and dandy with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios?

But now that I have Trevor to feed, it's exciting!

I love looking up Pinterest recipes in order to come up with delicious new dinners. I also love it even more when he says "This is my new favorite thing you cook." while we're eating it, or when he gives me a goodnight kiss and instead of saying goodnight says "P.S. dinner was seriously amazing tonight, babe." Sometimes that's even better than an I love you. Especially when we're talking about me cooking.

The girl who was never taught how to do a single thing in the kitchen, let alone make meals that dudes actually enjoy.

But I'm doing it and it's fun and since I can do it, you can too! So I figured I might as well start sharing some of the "insanely easy yet crazily delicious" things that I make. Starting with last night's spinach and ricotta (an onion!) stuffed chicken.

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I had never stuffed chicken until last night, so don't be scared about having to get down and dirty a bit with your breasts. She said it, I didn't.

What I will say, though, is that I'm pretty fond of winging things in the kitchen. I kind of made this up so I didn't have a set ingredient list or measures. I basically just free-balled it. There's really no right or wrong way to do this, so mix together whatever consistencies and whatever ingredients you'd like.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 chicken breasts - I used pre-marinated ones from Wegmans because they're my favorite to use for just about everything and it makes your life a whole life easier. You can obviously use plain ones and season/marinate them however you'd like
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion - or more if you're onion obsessed like me
  • 2 cloves of garlic - minced
  • 2 cups chopped spinach - basically enough to spread out and cover the bottom of a  frying pan
  • 1 cup of ricotta - I used part skim and it worked just fine
  • salt, pepper - as many dashes as your little heart desires
  • toothpicks - to secure your chicken together after being stuffed
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DIRECTIONS:

  • preheat oven to 400*
  • pour your olive oil into a frying pan and heat it up 
  •  sauté the spinach, onion, and garlic together in the pan until it's all cooked - I did mine all at the same time and it worked out perfectly
  • place all of your sautéed ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix in ricotta
  • throw a couple dashes of salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you'd like in
  •  cut the chicken breasts horizontally down the center to butterfly filet them (demo)
  • spoon your ricotta mixture onto the bottom half of the filet
  • fold the top half over back to its original position and secure edges with toothpicks - you can see mine in the uncooked breast picture. I put them in like you would a needle - down through both edges, over an inch, and then back up through
  • melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan on your stove
  • place both (stuffed and tooth-picked) chicken breasts in pan for about two minutes on each side to brown the sides of the breast
  • remove breasts from stovetop, place in an oven safe dish lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray
  • bake chicken in the over for 18 minutes at 400*
  • check to make sure it's cooked all the way through and enjoy!

That seemed like quite a lot of direction, but it seems way easier once you're done. It took me about twenty minutes after I got everything chopped up. The hardest part is just securing the breasts back together with the toothpicks after stuffing. I was really scared all of the filler would just ooze out while it was baking but it all stayed in and was delicious! Oh, and I obviously also served mine on a bed of white rice but you could put it over noodles or roasted asparagus or potatoes as well.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you try it out!