Ingredients

 

1 package frozen spinach (or fresh spinach cooked)

½ cup (8 ounces) pub cheese (or flavored cheese)

pepper, to taste

2 skinless chicken breasts, with pocket sliced into it

4 strips of bacon

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

 

1. In a bowl mix spinach and cheese and pepper together. I do not use salt because the cheese and bacon are both salty. Set aside.

2. Lay the chicken breast on a cutting board and carefully slice a pocket on one side to within ½ inch of the other three sides of the breast.

3. Take cheese and spinach mixture and stuff the pocket of the breast. 

4. Lay the stuffed breast on the board and wrap one piece of bacon and then the other around it so that it holds the stuffing in place.

5. Bake in a 375 degree F. oven for 30 minutes.

 

Serve sliced with rice, rice pilaf, noodles, potatoes, salad and any vegetable side dish such as summer squash or zucchini squash.

 

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Smith, Changing Tides Gift Shop, ACE Hardware, 2012.

by Victoria Brown: “If you’re like me, you eat a lot of chicken” says Stephanie Smith of Changing Tides Gifts, “chicken breasts are pretty healthy, they’re pretty inexpensive and easy to prepare.” Eating a lot of the same thing can get boring and Smith knows this as well as the next person; she is full of great ideas for jazzing up the humble chicken breast.

 

Stuffing a chicken breast is a great way to turn it into an interesting meal quickly and easily. If, like Smith, you are time poor then this is the perfect recipe for you – it has just four ingredients, takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and bakes in just 30 minutes. 

 

Four ingredients? Did I hear correctly? Yep, and that includes the chicken breasts! 

 

Smith’s secret is pub cheese.  Pub cheese is a cheese that has had other things, such as herbs and garlic, added to it. They are thought to pair well with beer, hence the name, but the reason Smith uses them in this recipe is that it means she doesn’t have to add any seasonings, saving both time and money. “I don’t even need to add pepper to it, I don’t need to add salt, I don’t need to add garlic or any spices or herbs because, voila, it’s all in the cheese” says Smith.

 

Smith simply mixes the pub cheese with a packet of frozen spinach, cuts a pocket in the chicken breast and stuffs it with the mixture. She then wraps it in bacon, which gives the chicken a nice smoky flavor and “also adds just enough fat to give it some good moisture”. She highlights the importance of not overcooking the chicken because “then it’ll be dry and rubbery”. She recommends baking it for 30 minutes at 375 degrees until the “bacon is just a little bit crispy on the top”.

 

Smith serves the chicken with some vegetables on the side – “I didn’t put any rice or pasta because we’re doing a low carb meal” – but if you’re not worried about your carb intake you could always bulk it up with either of those or some potatoes.

 

When Smith takes the chicken out of the oven she is hit with some mouthwatering aromas – “I can smell the bacon and the garlic together. Oh, it smells so good from the pub cheese.” She has a bite and declares it perfect. “Mmm, you have to try this recipe. Half an hour, easy!” she says “It’s even fit for guests!”

Cheese Stuffed Chicken
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