In 3-13: Velvety Carrot Soup, I talked about how I love old cookbooks for their colorful attempts at trying to make boring recipes sound exciting. Another cookbook “trope” is putting words like easy, simple or quick in the title of a recipe that would otherwise sound…well, not those things.
Sometimes they live up to their titles, and sometimes not. A prime example of the former would be 6-4: Easy Stuffed Chicken Breasts. To be honest, stuffing chicken breasts doesn’t even sound that hard to begin with, so I suppose it didn’t even need that qualifier.
Unless it sounded hard to you–if that’s the case, ignore that last sentence. 🙂 It’s really not that hard, is what I’m saying.
It doesn’t look that beat up, and it doesn’t have any notations on it, but I actually do recall making this at least once. The chicken recipes got the bulk of the attention when I was growing up–it was one of the only things EVERYONE would eat.
Ingredients. I was out of homemade, canned, jarred, powdered–basically all forms of stock, so I had to improvise my own using some white miso I had in the fridge. I also had no rice, so I used some freekeh instead. Everything else was pretty legit though.
I keep those mini wine bottles on hand for precisely this reason–cooking. Easier than opening (and spoiling) a whole bottle for less than a cup of wine.
Miso has a salty, umami flavor to it, so I thinned about a spoonful or so into a cup of water and mixed it up. If this was a soup or something where the chicken flavor wasn’t already being provided by chicken, it would have been harder to make this work, but given that this was just to give some additional flavor to the rice, it sufficed. It also helped that this was really mild white miso–it would have been harder with a stronger type like red.
Frozen spinach. It wasn’t until I was typing this entry that I realized that they said it was okay to use frozen spinach–it was all I had, so I just made it work. I could have used that note though–I used way more spinach than I needed to and ended up with a bunch of extra stuffing. Makes good omelette stuffing though.
Mushrooms and garlic–spinach went in after I defrosted it in the microwave and squeezed all the water out with paper towels. Or I should say, after my sous chef (husband) did all of that. 🙂
Making the “pocket” in the chicken. Use a SHARP knife, it makes your life easier and your cut cleaner. Until you poke it out the back of the chicken and stab your hand. Don’t do that part. I didn’t do it, but I want to make sure you don’t either. Stay safe out there.
Adding in the feta. Freekeh, mushrooms, spinach, and garlic are already under there somewhere. Freekeh probably didn’t give it as much flavor as wild rice would have, but you go with what you have.
Chicken that has been stuffed. I added a bit of salt and pepper to the outsides. That’s not in the recipe either, but I like to live dangerously.
Hanging out inside my friend the toaster oven. I was so bummed when I made a frozen mac & cheese the other day and it specifically directed me NOT to use the toaster oven. I almost wanted to do it anyway to show the bigwigs at Stouffer’s that they don’t own me, but I also didn’t want the cause listed on the possibly subsequent house fire report to be “spite”. Plus, I really wanted that mac & cheese.
After their trip through the toaster oven. Looks pretty good, although my pocket is bigger than the pocket on the recipe. Hey, I had a LOT of spinach and other stuff to cram in there.
I used that liquid you see underneath to make the white wine sauce, as described in the recipe. It doesn’t quite look like the picture on the card, though. It looks odd, but it was pretty good as sauces go.
Here’s the final product along with 4-23: Mashed Potatoes with Broccoli. It was a perfectly serviceable dinner, but I can see why they say you’d want a tomato or something with it–I could have gone for something else acidic to balance out the chicken stuffing besides the sauce. Plus, I really wasn’t a huge fan of those potatoes–you can read about it on the link above.
I don’t remember being much more impressed with the chicken the first time around than I was this time. I think this one could be tweaked to be better, but I don’t think I’d make it a third time as is.