Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ricotta & Spinach Stuffed Chicken Wrapped in Prosciutto with Spiced Rice

I go through phases of making easy recipes and phases of more complicated recipes. This recipe is not complicated it just takes a little bit longer because of the prep for the chicken. But it was worth every minute of it. The original chicken recipe called for a whole piece of chicken for each serving. Each of us were stuffed after only a half.
The rice is very fragrant and delicious meshing well with the flavors of the prosciutto and chicken. Unfortunately I could not get a good picture of the chicken with the rice and I had hungry boys to feed who were getting impatient with my amateur photography skills.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breast Stuffed with Ricotta and Spinach
adapted from EveryDay with Rachael Ray October 2013
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil1 large clove garlic, grated or minced
1 bag baby spinach
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup drained fresh ricotta
1/2 cup freshly, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 slices prosciutto 
2 clementines, halved
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butterfly the chicken by slicing horizontally into the thick, long side of each breast, being careful not to slice all the way through. Open each breast like a book.. Using a mallet, pound the chicken to even thickness.
Heat 1/2 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and spinach and stir until wilted. Add the nutmeg; Season with salt and pepper to taste. Take 1/4 cup of the spinach and wring it dry in a paper or kitchen towel. Refrigerate the remaining spinach for another use.
Finely chop the spinach  and mix with the spinach with the cheeses; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread some of the spinach mixture on one side of each chicken breast, leaving a small border. Close the other half of the chicken breast over the filling. Wrap each chicken breast with 2 slices prosciutto.
In an ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil, cook the chicken until the prosciutto is browned, just a couple minutes per side. 
Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes. Halfway through cooking, add the clementine halves, cut side down, to the pan and cook until browned.
6. Divide the chicken breasts among plates. Serve with the clementine halves for garnish or squeeze a little of the juice over the chicken.

Spiced Rice Pilaf 
adapted from Bay Scented Rice, Bon Appetit October 1996
1 tablespoons butter
1/2 large onion, minced
3 bay leaves
3 whole cloves
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
2 oz. water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Saute the onion and bay leaves in the butter until tender but not browned. Add the cloves, cardamom, garlic, and cinnamon stick. Transfer to a rice cooker. Add rice, broth, water and salt; Turn on the rice cooker to white mode.

For stovetop cooking: Add rice, broth, water and salt to the spiced onion mixture; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. 

Fluff with a fork before serving.

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