I did a real hit-and-run shopping trip on Monday.  Other than fresh produce, we just didn’t need a lot.  But as I was walking through the cheese section, I espied an Italian gorgonzola that really looked good.  Very soft – almost runny – with a really subtle aroma.  I picked up a piece with no idea what to do with it other than slather it on bread.

So…  I decided to use it to stuff chicken breasts!

Traditionally, when stuffing chicken breasts, I make a slit in the thickest part of the breast, put a bit of stuffing in it, and close it up with either toothpicks or kitchen twine.  If it’s a cheesy stuffing, it all oozes out and it really doesn’t hold all that to begin with.  The other option is to pound the breast thin, put a scoop of stuffing in the center, and then fold and/or roll it up like a softball.  Neither option was what I was looking for tonight.

Instead, I made my slit in the thickest part of the breast and then laid it open on its side.  I filled the cavity with lots of filling, doused it liberally with panko bread crumbs, and then baked them off at 425° for about 25 minutes.

What a concept!  No pounding, no tooth picks, and lots of stuffing!

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Spinach, Walnuts, and Gorgonzola

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 6 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 oz gorgonzola
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Wilt shallots in a  hot skillet with a bit of olive oil.  Add garlic, then spinach.  Remove from heat when spinach is cooked and add gorgonzola.  Mix well, add salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate until cold.  When chilled, add walnuts.

Make slit in chicken breasts, lay on side and open.  Stuff with spinach and gorgonzola mixture.

Place panko bread crumbs on plate and carefully place each stuffed breast in the plate to coat the bottom with crumbs.  Place on a well-oiled baking pan, and sprinkle liberally with additional panko.

Bake in a preheated  425° oven for about 25 minutes.

I wanted to make Israeli couscous with dinner tonight but – shock and horror – I was out!  I did have the Sardinian couscous which worked out perfectly.  (Note to self:  Next shopping trip is not a hit-and-run!)

The Sardinian couscous cooks up pretty much the same was as the Israeli, but needs to be rinsed before cooking and can take a bit longer to cook.  I also used up the last of the homemade chicken stock I had, but packaged broth will work just fine.

Couscous with Currants

  • 1 cup Israeli or Sardinian couscous
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 oz button mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp minced Italian parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Wilt shallot in medium saucepan with a bit of olive oil.  Add mushrooms and cook a minute or two.  Add couscous, broth, currants, and garlic powder.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and cook 15 or so minutes until couscous is done.

Remove from heat, stir in minced parsley, and add salt and pepper, if desired.

This was one of those meals that looked – and tasted – like it took forever to prepare, but everything was done in less than an hour.