For our Christmas party last night, I made chicken breasts stuffed with sundried tomato pesto, ricotta cheese, and fresh spinach. I thought the red and green colors would complement our Christmas theme. I served the chicken sliced over a creamy mushroom and leek sauce. Delish. I served this with scalloped potatoes, but it would also be good over rice.
Chicken:6-7 chicken breasts
3-4 oz sundried tomato pesto
6 oz Ricotta cheese
Fresh baby spinach, stems removed (about 5-6 leaves per chicken breast)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese and egg; set aside. Slice the thick part of each chicken breast and flip open. Pound each chicken breast to about ¼” thick. Season outside of chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Flip breast over and spread the inside with pesto, then ricotta cheese and top with 5-6 spinach leaves. Starting with the thin side, roll up as tightly as possible and tuck in the ends to form a neat roll. Secure each breast with 2 toothpicks or tie closed with cooking string.
In a large frying pan with a few drizzles of EVOO, heat over high until oil starts to smoke and oil ripples. Brown all sides of chicken and transfer to a large casserole dish. Bake uncovered for 15-18 minutes, or until chicken is cooked all the way through and juices run clear. Let rest before slicing.
Sauce:1 Tbsp butter
1 large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
3 large baby Bella mushrooms, diced
½ cup white wine
½ Tbsp cornstarch
½ Tbsp Dijon mustard
½ cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
In the same frying pan used to brown chicken, add butter, leeks and mushrooms; sauté for 3-4 minutes. Scrap up browned bits of chicken from pan. Add wine and cornstarch, bring to a boil and whisk together. Turn heat to low and let reduce for about 5 minutes. Whisk in mustard. Add cream and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, pour sauce into a shallow serving dish and top with sliced chicken.