Creamy ricotta. Savoury spinach. Sharp cheddar cheese. What the what? Those ingredients enveloped by tender chicken and covered with an herby tomato sauce, make this dish a keeper.
Stuffed chicken breasts
- 150 g baby spinach
- salt and pepper
- 225 g goat cheese or ricotta cheese
- 4 chicken breasts
- 110 g (225 ml) cheddar cheese, shredded
- 50 g butter
- grated parmesan cheese
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 50 g butter
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tbsp red wine vinegar
- 400 g crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- pepper, to taste
- 2 zucchini
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Sauté the baby spinach until it shrinks. Salt and pepper. Place in a bowl and mix with the goat cheese.
- Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise, but don’t cut all the way through. Place in a greased baking dish. Fill the chicken breasts with the ricotta cheese mix and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Add dollops of the rest of the butter.
- Bake in oven for about 20–30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked all the way through. You can later pour the juices into the tomato sauce, giving it additional flavour.
- Fry shallot and onion in butter until soft without letting it turn brown. Add tomato paste, vinegar, crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the herbs. Let simmer on low heat for at least 15 minutes and salt and pepper to taste. (NOTE: The sauce will be enough for two batches, so freeze half of it and save for another time or use it for a low-carb pizza).
- Make spirals out of the zucchini, so called zoodles, with a spiralizer. If you don’t have a spiralizer you can make thin zucchini strips with a potato peeler.
- Fold in the zoodles in the hot tomato sauce and serve immediately with the chicken.
You can make the tomato sauce while the chicken is in the oven, or you can make it first, so that it has more time to simmer and develop more flavour. Tomato sauces only get better, the longer they are allowed to simmer.
Although the sauce is enhanced by the powerful flavours of dried herbs, garnishing the dish with fresh herbs makes it incredibly fresh and festive.