Quick and Easy Midsummer Meals
Roasted Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Gorgonzola and Spinach , Fingerling Potatoes, and Julienne of Carrots
What to do when you have guests coming for dinner and the beautiful midsummer weather has suddenly taken a turn to damp and almost chilly?
Gorgonzola and spinach stuffed chicken breasts are quick and easy solution! Hearty enough to satisfy those rainy day cravings and lift the spirits with a little flair!
The menu requires a little multitasking, but easy enough as explained and well worth the effort.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, brined (optional)
- 4 to 8 fingerling (or Yukon gold) potatoes, peeled
- 1 head of garlic, cloves separated with skin on
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon flaked sea salt fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves (fresh or dried)
Brining (optional) the chicken breasts.
Fill a bowl with water and add 1 tablespoon sea salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. Mix until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Add the chicken breasts, cover with cling film. Place in the refrigerator for several hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you intend to use the breasts. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels and set aside.
Stuffing for chicken:
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound fresh spinach leaves; stems removed and chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 oz/120g Gorgonzola, crumbled
- ¼ cup crumbled crusty bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 4 slices Parma ham or pancetta for wrapping the breasts
- flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season the breasts
- fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, sliced for garnish
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet and add the spinach and garlic. Saute briefly just until the spinach is wilted and promptly transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool briefly. Then add the Gorgonzola, bread crumbs, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss until combined and set aside. The Parma (or pancetta) and parsley will be used after the breasts are stuffed.
Preheat oven to 350F/180C
Place the potatoes in a baking tray large enough for the chicken breasts (which will be added later). Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary leaves. Toss until evenly coated and place in the oven to roast 1 hour, turning once after 30 minutes.
While the potatoes are roasting you can prepare the chicken. Butterfly the chicken breasts, placing your hand over the breast, cutting through the center of the meat lengthwise, almost but not completely through. Open the breast and spread out. Place equal portions of the spinach Gorgonzola stuffing on one bottom side of the flayed breasts and fold the top of the breast over the stuffing to enclose it inside the breasts. Wrap the Parma ham around each breast which will hold them together while roasting.
Just before you are ready to roast the breasts, season with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet until hot. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and briefly brown the breasts on all sides; about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
Remove the potatoes from the oven at the 35 minute mark and place the stuffed chicken breasts in the roasting tray and spoon pan juices and the rosemary over the breasts. Add the garlic cloves and return the pan to the oven for 25 minutes.
- 5 carrots, peeled and julienned
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
While the chicken is roasting you can julienne the carrots. Set them aside for sauteing just before serving while the chicken is resting.
Remove the chicken breasts, potatoes, and garlic from the oven and cover with foil, and rest for 5 minutes.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan. When hot add the carrots and toss until slightly softened, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Lightly compress the potatoes with palm of your hand on a cutting board.
Place chicken breasts, potatoes, and carrots on each serving plate. Spoon pan juices over the breasts and set the roasted garlic next to the potatoes for squeezing out the skin onto the potatoes at the table. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with flaked sea salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil for drizzling onto the potatoes at the table.