RECIPE

Bacon-Wrapped, Walnut and Spinach-Stuffed Chicken with Apple, Celery and Onion Salad

This bacon-wrapped chicken dinner started with a recipe for a filling for bagels!

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces walnuts (about 3/4 cup), toasted, cooled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 brick Neufchatel cheese or cream cheese (8 ounces), softened
  • 1 box chopped frozen spinach (10 ounces), defrosted and well-drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, breasts butterflied to open them up like a book
  • 1/3 pound thinly sliced smoky bacon or speck
  • 1/4 tablespoon olive or canola oil, divided
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Rounded teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Rounded teaspoon honey
  • 1 crisp apple, thinly sliced
  • 4 ribs celery with leafy tops, thinly sliced on bias
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups watercress
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Preparation

Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.


Combine the walnuts with the soft cheese, spinach, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and divide the cheese mixture among the breasts. Close the chicken breasts over the filling. Wrap the chicken with bacon or speck, slightly overlapping the slices.


Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon oil and lightly brown the chicken on all sides. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes to cook through.


While the chicken is in the oven, whisk up the lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon, honey and the remaining olive oil. Combine the apple, celery, onion and greens with dressing and season with salt and pepper.


Serve the stuffed chicken with the salad alongside.

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Rachael Ray