Sunday, January 29, 2012

Spinach Stuffed Chicken

I'm starting to think about Valentine's Day.  It's about two weeks away, and it can't be here soon enough.

So I'm trying out main dish recipes.  I don't mind experimenting with an appetizer or sometimes even a dessert on the night of a special dinner, but I want the main dish to be to DIE for.  Last year I did a Julia Child rendition of Tarragon Chicken (back in the pre-Paleo days), and it was amazing.  I'm pretty sure I can adapt that one for Paleo.  I promise, I'll get to that.

Tonight, I'm testing a Paleo adaptation of Spinach Stuffed Chicken.  If you do a quick google search, you'll find that most stuffed chicken recipes include a good amount of cheese or sour cream or mayonnaise.  (I haven't mastered the art of homemade mayo yet.)  I found a recipe that looked easily adaptable here, and dug in to the fun.

First, instead of pounding the chicken breasts, this recipe recommends simply cutting them horizontally, and then "stuffing" and assembling them, sort of sandwich-style.  I wanted the look of a stuffed roll, so I took my amazingly sharp knives that Superman bought me for Christmas and carefully cut the chicken breast without going all the way through, like this:

The stuffing is a sauteed mixture of onion, garlic, and spinach.

Divide the stuffing and distribute on the chicken breast, rolling from the wider end to the narrower end.

Drizzle with melted fat of your choice, and sprinkle with almond meal and dried rosemary.  Bake as directed.

Spinach Stuffed Chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
sprinkle of ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 big handfuls fresh spinach, chopped
4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat and split horizontally
1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup dry white wine

Preheat oven to 375º.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano, salt, red pepper, and black pepper; cook and stir until onion is soft, then add chopped spinach. Remove from heat and set  aside.

Pour white wine in the bottom of a 9x11 glass baking dish.

Cut the chicken breasts almost all the way in half horizontally using a very sharp knife.  Divide spinach filling evenly among breasts and roll up from wide end to narrow end.  Place rolls in the baking dish.

Drizzle each chicken roll with butter or coconut oil; sprinkle with almond meal, and sprinkle with dried rosemary.  Bake for 60 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked.

Remove chicken from oven; let rest for 5 minutes before serving. To serve, cut each breast into 3 or 4 slices on the diagonal to expose the stuffing, or simply leave each portion whole.

Excellent teamed with Pecan Cilantro Quinoa and Romaine-Blueberry salad.


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