Is it feeling like Autumn where you are? The past week here in PA has been beautifully cool and wonderful! I am ready for the change of seasons... falling leaves, cooler nights, cozy sweaters, wooly socks and lots of hearty, belly warming meals. School is back in session, football has started again and the holidays are only a couple of months away... this is definitely my favorite time of year for so many reasons. This is the time of year when I make lots of crock pot dishes, roasts in the oven and casseroles. Soul filling foods that permeate the house with delicious scents and just make you feel happy to be home after a long day.
This chicken dish is easy and so delicious. I stuffed and wrapped the chicken early in the day and covered it, in it's baking dish, with plastic wrap and stored it in the refrigerator until about 90 minutes before dinner. I left the chicken on the counter, to lose some of the chill while the oven was heating, so that the cooking time didn't take longer than 60 minutes. Doing that little bit of prep ahead of time made dinner come together simply and I could spend time with the kids, helping them with homework while everything cooked. It was perfect!
Usually I serve this with a big salad and some kind of roasted vegetable. No bread, pasta or rice. Between the bacon and cheese and chicken, it seems too heavy for us to have something heavier on the side. All that protein fills you up very nicely and we don't feel like we're lacking anything by having just veg on the side.
I used 2 pieces of bacon per breast, since the chicken pieces I used were large... and really, you know, BACON! But one piece would have been enough, if you wanted to watch your calorie intake or make the dish more economical.
Mmm... now that I am writing about this recipe and staring at the photos from it... I think this may have to be dinner tonight ;)
Feta and Spinach Stuffed Chicken with Bacon
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6-12 slices bacon (depending on the size of your breasts, I used 2 on each serving)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
10 ounces chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove as much liquid as possible
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup minced white onion
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Dash of salt, use restraint as feta and bacon will add some salt (optional)
Toothpicks to secure bacon, if needed
1: Preheat oven to 375*F.
2: Prepare chicken breasts by cutting a pocket into one side of each, using care not to cut all the way through.
3: In a bowl, combine feta, spinach, mayonnaise, garlic, onion, pepper and optional salt.
4: Stuff each chicken breast with feta mixture.
5: Carefully wrap each breast with 1-2 slices of bacon, securing with toothpicks, if needed.
6: Place each stuffed breast, pocket side up, on a lipped baking tray or casserole dish. (Ungreased is fine, as the bacon will lubricate the dish itself.)
7: Bake for approximately 1 hour, until the juices run clear and the bacon is crisp. Check with a meat thermometer inserted into the center, once it reaches 165*F the chicken is done.
Makes 6 servings.