Stuffed Baked Chicken

This is a recipe from an Italian farmhouse just outside Sienna. In it, you flatten chicken or turkey breast and then roll it up with egg and spinach filling. It looks very fancy, but is quite forgiving to the cook: the filling doesn’t have to look perfect before you roll it up. You’ll need cotton twine for this recipe.
March 01, 2010

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375°.
  2. Remove any large stems from spinach if necessary. Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add spinach and one clove minced garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the spinach is completely wilted. Set the spinach aside in a bowl and wipe out the skillet.
  3. Remove the bone from the chicken breasts (see note) and slice each breast horizontally almost but not quite all the way through and open like a book. With a meat mallet (or the bottom of a coffee mug) pound each breast fairly flat, a little less than ½ inch thick. Set aside. If using turkey breast, cut it in half first, then prepare each half as one chicken breast. Heat the 10-inch skillet over mediumhigh heat and add a tablespoon of butter.
  4. Beat eggs with a dash of salt and pepper until well blended. Pour eggs into a skillet and cook, using a fork to loosen and lift the edges then tilting the skillet so uncooked eggs flow underneath. When the eggs are nearly set, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remove from heat.
  5. Squeeze spinach of excess liquid, and divide in half. Bring one breast in front of you on a work surface. Cut omelet in half and lay over the chicken breast. Spread one half of the spinach over the omelet.
  6. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons pine nuts. Pick up the close side of the chicken and roll it up so the chicken, egg and spinach are pinwheel fashion. Roll chicken tightly and use kitchen twine to tie each end of the roll and at least two places in between. Set aside and repeat process with remaining chicken breast. Coat each roll with a tablespoon of olive oil and place in a roasting pan. Sprinkle each roll with salt and pepper and tuck rosemary, garlic and sage around the rolls. Place little bits of remaining butter on top of the rolls.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes. Turn the rolls over and add the white wine to pan. After 5 minutes, turn off the oven. Pour liquid out of roasting pan into a small saucepan (return chicken to oven). Bring the liquid to a boil and allow it to reduce to ½ cup. Remove twine from chicken, slice chicken and set slices on serving platter. Drizzle with reduced wine mixture and serve. 

Chicken breast bone: The bone will no doubt have quite a bit of meat left on it. You can simmer it in water to use for the liquid pea soup or risotto.

Ingredients

  • 10 to 12 ounces spinach
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced or smashed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 whole chicken breasts (or 1 turkey breast)
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4 tablespoons pine nuts, divided
  • 4-inch sprig rosemary
  • 5 or 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 and ½ cups white wine
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