Say hello to my latest obsession! Baked chicken wrapped in bacon and stuffed with a cheddar cheese and baby spinach filling.
Otherwise known as the most delicious chicken in existence.
Although it sounds a bit on the fancy side it’s easy enough for a busy weeknight.
The filling is three ingredient simple: shredded cheddar, fresh sliced baby spinach, and a little chopped onion.
Pockets are cut into the sides of boneless chicken breasts and you pack the filling inside. I thought it would all ooze out to the bottom of the pan but I was wrong. A little bit does, here and there, but for the most part it stays right where you put it.
After filling you wrap them in bacon and bake. The bacon grease drips over the chicken and keeps it from drying out so it’s juicy and succulent.
It also mingles with the chicken juices and bits of the cheddar that fall to the bottom of the pan. You should definitely spoon it up and serve it over the chicken.
Plain chicken is a thing of the past.
Here’s your new go-to.
- 4 boneless chicken breasts (about 1 + ¼ - 1 + ½ pounds)
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach, stacked and cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
- scant ¼ cup chopped onion
- salt and fresh black pepper
- 4 slices bacon
- snipped green onions, for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with butter.
- Working on a cutting board cut a pocket into each breast. Hold the breast flat with your palm and make a horizontal cut ( a good paring knife works well) into the thickest side of the breast as if you were slicing it in two. Work the tip of your knife into the cut and carve out a pocket leaving the other three edges attached. (If you do cut through another side - that's ok - it will still work.)
- In a medium bowl toss the cheddar,
spinachand onion together with a couple good dashes each salt and pepper.
- Stuff ¼ of the mixture into each breast, packing it in. Place them in the pan and season the tops with salt and pepper.
- Wrap a slice of bacon around each one.
- Bake until the chicken is cooked through about 25 minutes depending on the size of your breasts.
Internaltemperature of the chicken (not the filling) should reach 165 to 174 degrees F.
- To serve garnish with green onions and any sauce in the bottom of the pan.