I haven’t had a guest post in a while on here and I am excited to share a good one with you today.
I decided to leave work a little early to make dinner for Aimee and I and wanted to have chicken be the meat of the meal since Aimee loves it. This is a pretty easy recipe we loved how it turned out- not to mention that it is extremely healthy.
Cooking may seem daunting at first but you have to not be afraid to try new things and match flavors that you know will be good together. In order to match flavors you have to try tons and tons of new foods. For this recipe I didn’t use any other recipe as a base and hadn’t eaten anything exactly like this before, but knew the flavors of each ingredient and how they would compliment each other.
2 Chicken Breasts (whole, thawed)
3 Cups Spinach (can be baby or regular, you will be steaming them and they will reduce in size dramatically. This measurement is before the spinach is cooked)
1 Full-Size Can of Whole Black olives (You will need some of the liquid from this can and the pre-chopped olives tend to not have very much juice in the can)
2 Teaspoons Olive Juice (not oil)
1/4 Bar of Non-Fat cream cheese (you can use low-fat or regular if you prefer)
2 Teaspoons of Lemon Juice
2 Teaspoons Onion Salt
2 Teaspoons of Kirkland Sweet Mesquite Seasoning (I haven’t been to a Costco that doesn’t have this stuff and its GREAT for poultry and pork recipes)
2 Teaspoons Corn Starch (for sauce thickening)
1 Teaspoon Mustard Powder
1/4 Cup water
1 Teaspoon Salt
Optional and recommended- steamed broccoli as a side
Whew! That’s a lot of ingredients, right? Don’t worry this recipe is easier than the ingredients make it appear and it’s a delicious dish.
Now the key to making this recipe is having things cooking simultaneously- while this is not necessary multi-tasking will save you time.
Start steaming the spinach (5-6 minutes is perfect, when that time is up put the cooked spinach in a colander and let them drip excess liquid out). In a small saucepan add the water, mesquite seasoning, and 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice (the other teaspoon will be added to the filling for the chicken later) and simmer on high for 5-6 minutes (yep, the same amount of time as the spinach). Once you hit the 4-5 minute mark add the corn starch. This is the sauce that you will spread on top of the chicken breasts so you want it thick enough that it will not just run off of the sides.
You have 5-6 minutes while your spinach cooks and your sauce simmers- lets get the chicken ready. Lay down some parchment paper on the counter and pound the chicken a few times with a large flat pan. The goal is just to flatten it out slightly and even out the thickness. It doesn’t need to be paper thin- just thin enough that we can fold it in half on itself and it wont open up on its own.
Now take that drained spinach and chop it on a cutting board until the pieces are about the size of your thumbnails or smaller. Take the olives and chop them to about the size of your pinky nail or smaller. In another saucepan place the spinach, cream cheese, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, onion salt, mustard powder, olive juice, and olives on medium-low heat. The cream cheese will melt and it should only take 2-3 minutes before you have the stuffing for the chicken all done.
Alright- the hard parts are over. Take your chicken breasts and place them with the smooth sides down on aluminum foil squares that will be large enough to completely wrap them. Spread the spinach and olive sauce over the side of the chicken breasts that are facing the ceiling (not touching the foil). Fold them each in half and wrap them individually in the foil. Leave a small opening in the top of the foil to let some of the moisture escape. Now take the sweet lemon and mesquite sauce and spread it over the top of each breast. The purpose of the aluminum foil is to make sure that the delicious filling doesn’t run all over the place when it gets hot. Don’t worry-the sauce will stay in the middle when you finish cooking and remove them from the foil.
Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. If you have a food thermometer now is the time to use it. The chicken will cook faster because it has been pounded and is not as thick as a whole chicken breast as well as being inside of aluminum foil.
Remove from the oven/foil and enjoy!
If you have any questions about the steps please feel free to comment and I will respond quickly.