"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast w/Roasted Bell Peppers and Polenta Cakes

Think chicken breast is boring?  Well, think again.  There is nothing boring about this Chicken meal recipe that I made for my family tonight.  It is easy and delicious.

4 Chicken Breasts (slice them vertically, but without going all the way through so filling can stay in)
1 Cup of chopped frozen spinach (thawed)
1/2 Cup of shredded Gruyere cheese (or whatever Swiss-type cheese you have at home)
1/2 Cup of Feta cheese
1 small shallot or 1/4 cup of onions (minced)
1 Clove of garlic (minced)
1 Tablespoon of lowfat milk or whipping cream
3 Bell peppers sliced (whatever color you like)
1/2 Red onions (sliced)
1/2 a log of pre-cooked polenta (Trader Joe's has them in the pasta isle)
About 4 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/2 Teaspoon of Italian Seasoning


Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Bell Peppers
Place sliced peppers and onions in a baking dish
Season with salt and pepper
Add Italian Seasoning
Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
Mix well so the vegetables get coated with the seasonings and oil
Bake in the oven until soft, about 30 minutes (depending on how big the peppers are)

Chicken Breasts
Mix spinach, cheese, shallot, garlic, and milk in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste
Stuff chicken breasts with the spinach mixture
Fold the stuffed chicken breasts so the stuffing doesn't come out
Tie the chicken breasts with a twine or insert a couple of toothpicks in them to keep the stuffing in
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium high heat
Brown the stuffed chicken breasts on all sides (about 2 minutes per side)
Then, put the skillet in the oven, and cook for 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken breasts)

Slice the polenta into 1/4-inch sizes
Cook according to package [I browned them in a pan over the stove top, and then sprinkled them with some Parmesan cheese]

Serve everything together with a nice glass of your favorite wine.  When I made this dish, we tried a glass of Challis Lane Old Vine Zinfandel (2007).  I got this wine at BevMo, which is currently having its 5-cents sale.  When you buy this wine for $7.99, you get a second bottle for $.05.   This wine is medium body, loaded with delicious berry fruit flavors, and has a nice finish.  It goes really well with this dish.  It received a 90-point rating by Wilfred Wong.  And, at about $4 a bottle, it is a true deal.  Check out BevMo's website:http://www.bevmo.com/Shop/ProductDetail.aspx?D=challis&Ntx=mode%2bmatchall&Dx=mode%2bmatchall&Ntk=All&Nty=1&Ntt=challis&N=0&ProductID=31270.

If you try the recipe and/or the wine, be sure to write a comment and let me know what you think.

Until next time . . . Cheers!


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