RECIPE

Spinach and Ricotta-Stuffed Chicken with Rosemary Hasselback Potatoes

Add a little excitement to your meal with these beautiful stuffed chicken breasts. You can prepare the stuffing ahead of time for a make-ahead meal, making this already simple recipe even easier.

Ingredients

  • 6 long-ish roasting potatoes, scrubbed and dried
  • 2 metal skewers
  • Olive oil, for liberal drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, (finely chopped)
  • 3/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a fat handful), divided
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 box frozen chopped spinach (10 ounces), defrosted and wrung dry
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese, cow or sheep’s milk
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted and cooled
  • A few grates of nutmeg
  • 12 slices speck (smoky ham)
  • Lemon wedges

Preparation

Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.


Skewer three potatoes on each rod, poking them toward the bottom side rather than through the middle. Cut very thin slices about 1/8-inch thick down to rod down the whole potato. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil to lightly coat and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes to get the potatoes to open a bit along the slices.


Combine the lemon zest, rosemary and garlic in a small bowl and sprinkle the mixture in between the potato slices. Roast for 25 minutes more. Remove from the oven and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.


Melt the butter in a small skillet and add the panko. Toast until light and evenly golden; remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature and toss with parsley and half the cheese.


Working from the rounded thicker side of the chicken breasts, cut into the breasts to butterfly them, opening them like a book. Gently pound each piece to a quarter-inch thick. And season the inside of the meat with salt and pepper.


Combine the defrosted spinach, separating it with your fingertips, with the ricotta, egg yolk, walnuts, salt, pepper, nutmeg and remaining cheese. Fill each breast with a few tablespoons of cheese each and close them. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Wrap each piece of stuffed chicken with speck.


Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side. When you remove the potatoes from the oven, reduce the heat to 350°F; add chicken and roast 15 minutes to finish cooking through.


Slice the stuffed chicken on a bias and fan piece out on warm dinner plates. Serve with lemon wedges with Hasselback potatoes alongside topped with parsley and cheese breadcrumbs.

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Rachael Ray