Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Souffle" Stuffed Chicken

I've been eyeing this recipe for a while, but the inclusion of a specific convenience food item made me wary. Who's to say when a company such as Stouffer's may decide to nix an item from their product line. Well, not only does Stouffer's still make the spinach souffle used to stuff this chicken, the froze side dish appears to have a solid following. The cashier at the supermarket raved and raved about it after she saw it in our pile of groceries...

Adapted from The South Beach Diet Cookbook by Arther Agatston, M.D.

serves 4

The Ingredients:
1 package Stouffer's frozen spinach souffle, not thawed
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4" thickness
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

The Process:
Preheat the oven to 350.

Using a serrated knife, cut the spinach souffle crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Top half of each whole breast with one of the pieces of souffle. Fold half of the chicken over the filling and fasten the edges with wooden picks.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until golden. Discard the garlic. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for 7 minutes per side, or until well-browned on all sides.

Remove the chicken breasts to an oven-proof dish. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 170.

While the chicken bakes, add the broth, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce is reduced about half.

Top serve, remove and discard the wooden picks from the chicken. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter, and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.

The Review:
I definitely need to work on my stress relief was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be to pound the chicken breasts into a uniform 1/4" thickness. But with a little finagling I did manage to secure the chicken around the frozen souffle. Once the meat hit the skillet, everything sort of sealed up anyway.

Despite the early frustrations, the dish itself turned out well. The chicken looked to suffer for a touch of dryness upon coming out of the oven, but appearances are only skin deep. The combination of the sauce, the filling and the earlier pounding actually yielded a fairly tender and juicy entree. And the Stouffer's spinach souffle was as light as air.

Perhaps next time I'll nix the chicken and just stick with the (gasp!) prepackaged side dish.

The lemon dijon sauce too, may make an appearance in future recipes...

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