Tonight's recipe was sort of off-the-cuff.
I'd seen a recipe for gorgonzola-stuffed chicken breasts on Epicurious, and was intrigued. But I felt like that was putting a lot of pressure on the Gorgonzola to flavor the chicken. Gorgonzola doesn't need that much pressure in its life. So, I decided to help it out a little. I added some spinach. And I wrapped the chicken breasts in Pancetta. Like you do. :) Who doesn't love a little pork fat?
Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Pancetta:
2 big bone in chicken breasts with ribs. Skin on is preferable, unless you're grossed out by that.
About 2 ounces of Gorgonzola crumbles (or domestic bleu cheese, I'm not picky)
2 handfulls of spinach
4 slices of pancetta (you can totally use bacon too. stick with the same 2 slices/breast ratio)
Obviously, just double all this stuff if you have more than 2 people to cook for.
Season the chicken breasts on the outside with salt and pepper, and using a sharp knife cut a pocket into the upper portion, opposite the ribs, of the chicken breasts. Put a little salt and pepper into the pocket. Leave the chicken breasts to sit, and wash your hands.
Grab the handfuls of spinach, and scrunch all the leaves together, kind of rolling them up together too. Slice them perpendicularly, so that the leaves turn into long ribbons. Mix together with the bleu cheese crumbles.
Cut the slices of pancetta in half. (or grab the bacon slices - 2 per chicky as noted above).
Preheat the oven to 350.
Stuff the spinach and bleu cheese into the pockets you've cut in the chicken breasts. Stuff in a lot of it.... it's ok if it spills out. I promise.
Wrap the pieces of pancetta or bacon around the chicken breasts. If you're fancy, you can use toothpicks to secure it. If you're not, don't worry. Just tuck the pork product under the chicken breasts and put the end-side down in the baking pan.
Put the chicken pieces in a baking pan. I used a silver one that's the perfect size for brownies. Put them in the oven, at 350, for about an hour. If things start looking dry or crackly, you can drizzle with a little olive oil. But basically, just put them in the oven and wave at them every now and again. After an hour, check to make sure the juices are clear, and NOM!!!
I also made some sauteed spinach, which was just as simple as putting some butter, garlic, and shallot in a pan, and then adding several handfuls of chopped up spinach. I tossed it around, added a little olive oil, salted and peppered, and when I was just about done, I splashed on a teeny bit of balsamic. Next time I'll probably add more. Or even some white wine vinegar. Just something a little acidic to offset the other flavors.
It was delicious. And a good kickoff. Tomorrow we're scheduled to have Musty-Crusty chicken I think. Or maybe it's Leah's taco soup. Regardless, we're having musty-crusty chicken, taco soup, pizza, mac & cheese, and left over taco pork this week. Stay tuned!!