Homemade Spinach & Pepperjack Cheese stuffed Chicken breasts wrapped in Parma Ham
I have been an eggetarian almost all my life. But while doing post-graduation, one of my closest friends introduced (read forced ;)) me to try chicken. The first dish that I tried was Chilli Chicken and it still is my favorite. After that, for a very long time, I only used to eat very few chicken dishes, all of them made with boneless chicken. It was only when I got married that I started eating chicken in all forms. As I have mentioned in one of my earlier posts, my husband is an amazing cook and one of his specialties is cooking chicken. Still, I was not very comfortable in trying out any chicken dishes which were not Indian (spicy) but my brother slowly introduced me to milder, subtle flavored chicken and I must say I have come to love them too! So, here is one such recipe made with chicken breasts, which is very simple to make and super delicious 🙂
- Fresh Spinach Leaves – 150 grams
- Sour Cream – 1/4 cup
- Shredded Pepperjack Cheese – 1/4 cup (you can also use Monterey Jack Cheese)
- Garlic, minced – 4 cloves
- Red Chillies – 2 (deseeded if don’t want to make it hot)
- Skinless, boneless Chicken Breast Halves – 2
- Black Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt – To taste
- Parma Ham (optional) – 6 slices
- Preheat the oven to 392 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Blanch the spinach by adding it to a boiling water followed by plunging it into chilled water. Alternatively, you can heat it in microwave for 3 minutes or until wilted.
- Chop the blanched/wilted spinach roughly and make sure you have drained all of its water. Transfer it into a bowl.
- Add sour cream, garlic, chillies and pepperjack cheese. Mix well until it has formed a smooth texture.
- Lay the chicken breasts out on a clean surface, and make a slit down the side of each of the breasts to either form a pocket or to open a flap like I did (see figure 1 from the image above).
- Spoon some of the spinach mixture inside each pocket or on the thicker side and close the flap. Refer to image 1.
- Now, wrap the breasts with parma ham slices and secure the assembly with toothpicks. Wrapping with parma ham is, of course, optional so if you do not want to use the ham, simply secure the breasts with toothpicks. Arrange the prepared breasts in a shallow cooking dish, as shown in figure 2.
- Bake it for 25 minutes at 200 degrees C and your dish is ready.
- You can have it with rice or boiled veggies. I usually like my chicken with stir fried veggies and herbed couscous.
I would love to know your experience and would love to hear about any other inventive accompaniments to go with the chicken 🙂
Zucchini wrapped Mint & Coriander Chicken Kebabs
I don’t consider myself to be a non-vegetarian but rather a chicken-atarian. In fact its only been less than a decade since I have starting eating chicken. So I often find myself searching for all sorts of chicken recipes. And to be honest, I have not tried many recipes but I love the way my husband cooks chicken. So here is one of the recipes which I really loved making (needless to say loved eating to) and I found it very easy to cook. Whenever I am searching for any recipes, I tend to look at the ingredients which are easily available in any household and can be cooked anytime. These chicken kebabs will be a good starter if you are cooking for loads of friends. These can be grilled, char-grilled, cooked on barbecue or cooked in oven (I had cooked it in oven) This recipe has been inspired from Jamie Oliver’s recipe with quite a few tweaks of my own.
- 500 gms boneless chicken breasts
- 4 zucchini/courgettes, sliced very thinly lengthways
- 6-8 bamboo skewers (soak them in water)
- few sticks of fresh rosemary, lower leaves removed, tips kept on
For the marinade:
- 1 handful fresh coriander
- 1 1/2 handful fresh mint
- 5 cloves garlic
- 4 spring onions
- 6 green/red chillies (adjust the heat according to your taste)
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius or around 480 degrees Fahrenheit on the grill setting.
- Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes and place them in a bowl.
- Blanch the zucchini/courgette strips in salted boiling water for 30 seconds then drain them with the cold water and allow them to cool.
- Blitz all the marinade ingredients in a food processor, then loosen to a paste with a little olive oil.
- Add the marinade to the chicken pieces and mix well.
- Allow to sit for up to an hour. Then wrap the marinated chicken pieces with the zucchini/courgette strips and then pierce them onto the skewers.
- Arrange the skewers on a baking try so that the front and the back of the skewers rest on the opposite sides of the baking tray rim. Avoid letting the chicken pieces rest on the bottom of the tray. Another suggestion is to line the baking tray with aluminum foil so it helps in cleaning up later.
- Original Jamie Oliver’s recipe suggests using Rosemary sticks as skewers but I found it a bit cumbersome so I used bamboo skewers instead. I scattered the rosemary sticks/leaves on top of the skewers just before they went into the oven.
- Put the baking tray with the skewers arranged in the aforementioned manner in the oven for 8-10 mins. After 8-10 mins, turn the skewers and brush the chicken pieces with some olive oil and leave the skewers for a further 8-10 mins.
- Feel free to cut a piece open to check if they’re done.
- Once done, serve them hot, preferably with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice on them. You can serve the kebabs with coriander chutney or with cucumber and mint raita.
I hope you enjoy making the kebabs and do leave your feedback/suggestions below.