November 27, 2013

Hasselback Chicken ~ Cajun with Pepper Jack & Spinach


For dinner, my husband asked for what happens to be the most popular recipe on this blog, Cajun chicken stuffed with pepper jack cheese & spinach.  It's one of our top 5 favorite meals but I was having a rough day and honestly was not looking forward to butterflying, pounding, rolling, toothpicking, and de-toothpicking my chicken breasts.  So, I decided to improvise by making deep slits into the chicken and stuffing it that way.  Think of it as a hasselback potato... but with chicken!  The results?  Just as delicious but much easier to make and even the cooking time is less!  Oh, and I'm pretty sure I'll be saving plenty of trees by eliminating toothpicks from the recipe altogether.  Score!  This is definitely my favorite way to stuff chicken!  






Ingredients:


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 1 1/2 lb 
  • 4 oz pepper jack cheese, sliced into thin 1/4 inch slices 
  • 1/2 c cooked spinach (frozen and thawed or sauteed fresh)
  • 1 tbsp seasoned bread crumb 
  • 1/2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste 



Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Using a sharp knife, make slits in the chicken breasts widthwise that are about 3/4 inches apart, making sure not to cut all the way down through the bottom of the chicken breast.  You will have about 7 or 8 slits per chicken breast, depending on how large your chicken breasts are.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper. 

Stuff the spinach and pepper jack slices in the slits of the chicken.  I've found that it's easier to place the cheese in before the spinach.  

Combine the bread crumb and Cajun seasoning in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chicken.    

Place each chicken breast on its own lightly greased sheet of tin foil and make a "bowl" loosely surrounding each chicken breast.  This keeps the juices contained.  

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove each chicken breast from its tin foil "bowl" and place on a serving dish.  

Enjoy!


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