The "JSC" - A Healthy Take on the Classic Stuffed Chicken Breast
I came up with this recipe because my boyfriend, Jason, requested a healthy stuffed chicken breast meal and thus the 'JSC' (Jason's Stuffed Chicken) was created! It's been a challenge to stick to a clean diet these past few months because of my new food blogging hobby, so this recipe was a nice change :) Most stuffed chicken breast recipes use a lot of cheese for that delicious rich flavor, which is perfect for lean meats like chicken breast. But I had to improvise for my version to save on some calories :( womp womp. But pleaseeeee feel free to add in some fontina cheese, or a pepper jack or even some classic mozzarella if you wish!! Do it for me... I really love cheese <3 lol
Anyways, the stuffing was made with sauteed veggies (spinach, mushrooms, onions & garlic) mixed in with panko bread crumbs to bind everything together. These veggies all cook pretty quickly so I made the stuffing in no time!
I personally think a whole stuffed chicken breast is too big and can end up being very tasteless and dry. So I prefer to butterfly the chicken breasts into two separate pieces and then roll the stuffing inside of each piece, secured with toothpicks. I find these portions to be a little more manageable and it provides a superior stuffing to chicken ratio.
This is a great weeknight meal as it can be prepared quite quickly and I made everything using one pan only :) I served the JSC with some simply cooked asparagus (boil them in water for about 5 minutes and then sprinkle with salt before serving) and it was a healthy and delicious meal!
Read on for the step by step recipe and let me know what you think!
Cremini sliced mushrooms, baby spinach, onions & garlic make up the yummy stuffing!
I topped with lemon slices since I always enjoy a lemony/citrus note to my baked chicken.
That's Jason ready to dig-in. This photo shoot was a "hot" mess (literally) as I had one of my typical clumsy moments and grabbed the pan after it was right out of the oven. I still managed to get a few shots but had to cut the photo shoot short to take care of my wounds smh!
The JSC (Jason's Stuffed Chicken)
For the stuffing:
Extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large onion, sliced
2 C sliced cremini mushrooms (about 227 g)
4 C packed, baby spinach
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 C panko breadcrumbs
For the chicken breast:
3 chicken breasts, butterflied in half
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 of a lemon, juiced
1/2 lemon cut into thin slices (to top each piece of chicken)
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Sauté the veggies. Heat 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large oven-safe frying pan then add the garlic, stirring until golden brown. Next add in the onions and let them cook down for about 1 minute. Then add in the mushrooms and cook for another minute, finally add in the spinach, the salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and cook until the spinach is wilted.
2. Remove the vegetables from the pan into a large bowl and let cool a little bit. Mix a few times so that the steam escapes, allowing the vegetables to cool quicker. Reserve about ¼ of the sautéed veggies, you will add this to the pan before baking the stuffed chicken. With the remaining veggies, mix in the breadcrumbs, stirring until combined, this is your stuffing!
3. Prepare the chicken breast: After cutting each chicken breast in half, lay the chicken pieces on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Take a meat mallet or use the bottom of a sauce pan and lightly pound the meat so that all the chicken breasts are roughly the same thickness. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken.
4. Stuffing the chicken: Scoop up some of the stuffing and layer it onto a piece of chicken, covering the entire surface area of that chicken breast. Starting from one end, roll the chicken into a pinwheel and secure with a few toothpicks. Use as many toothpicks as you need to make sure the chicken breast is secured and won’t fall apart. Repeat for each chicken piece.
5. Heat another tablespoon of EVOO in your pan and then add in the stuffed chicken breast, brown each side of the stuffed chicken for about 1 minute or so. Once the chicken has been browned, add in the reserved veggies into the bottom of the pan, squeeze the juice from half the lemon over the entire pan and then place a lemon slice on top of each stuffed chicken.
6. To Bake: In a pre-heated 375 degree oven, transfer the pan directly into the oven and bake for 18 – 20 minutes. Check for done-ness and once the chicken has been cooked through it is ready to be served, devoured & enjoyed J This can be serves alongside a variety of side dishes (steamed vegetable a garden salad, rice or potatoes!) ****Remember, the pan is hot so don't make the same mistake I did by touching it with your bare hands! sighhhhh lol****