just me

Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Fried Polenta

In Breads / Grains, Chicken on January 19, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Okay, I’m finally using up the last of the spinach and goat cheese! Yes, I know my posts have had sort of a theme to them, but really, I’m just being practical. I am not one of these wealthy food bloggers who can spend a fortune on ingredients and throw large dinner parties to show off their skill and use up said ingredients. It’s just Mr. Gorilla and I here, so we have to be judicious in our use of foodstuffs.

I’ve even taken up freezing! Really! Like, when you blanch the veggies and plunge them into cold water and freeze them on trays and seal them in bags. Like long-term storage! I feel so delightfully old-fashioned! But at least this way I won’t have to feel guilty about buying celery and carrots when I needed them for the Beef Stew even though we like, never eat them. And, just having them in the freezer has inspired me to put them in more stuff!  Not to mention, the goat cheese has been in the freezer all along, and is keeping quite well. It’s actually easier to work with frozen.

So, to the main point, today’s dinner! Like I said, I had the goat cheese just sitting there, and it was the last day for the spinach (and I HATE throwing food away), so I decided to shove them both into a piece of chicken and call it good. I also had leftover polenta from the other night, so that had to get used too. Basically, the dinner dictated itself! And I listened.

It was quite good, and very filling, but this one did not get the overwhelming response I’ve been getting used to. The Mr. said it was delicious (unprompted), but he didn’t fawn over it like usual. Maybe he was just tired. He did go back for more fried polenta, though!

Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, butterflied

1 cup fresh spinach

4 ounces goat cheese

salt, pepper, ground coriander

Directions:

A peek inside my (chicken) breast.

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Lay flat (it should already be butterflied. Keep up) with the outside of the breast facing up. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and coriander, and rub it in. Remember the massage we talked about awhile ago? Do it again.

Now, flip the chicken over, and gently and carefully arrange the spinach and goat cheese over half of it. Remember, this has to fold closed! It might take a few tries, but that’s perfectly okay.

You can cook these babies any way you want. I actually grilled them on my panini press because I’m lazy and clever.  But I won’t get angry if you bake it at 350, or grill it on a grill, or fry it in a pan. I will, however, get very, very angry if you microwave it. That is a crime against food and should be punished.

However you cook it, try to sear it first, then turn down the heat and cook through. It’s done when it’s no longer pink inside and juices run clear. A Southern mom once told me it’s done when it feels like that muscle at the base of your thumb. Not too soft, but not too firm. Seems pretty accurate to me!

Fried Polenta

Ingredients:

Leftover polenta, refrigerated

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

oil for frying

Directions:

Make a fine mess!

Your polenta should be a solid mass by now, if you refrigerated it like I asked. Did you? DID YOU? Okay then…

Break it up into rough chunks that would comfortably perch on a fork. Not too small! And be careful – it breaks apart rather easily.

Now roll it gently through the parm. It shouldn’t be completely coated, but a fair amount of the cheese should cling to it.

Shallow-fry over medium-high heat. Any higher, and the combination of the sizzling cheese and the popping polenta grains will drive you from the kitchen. Since it’s already cooked, all you’re aiming for here is a nice, flavorful crust. Once the chunks are golden brown (or darker, if you like) on at least two sides, remove from pan and drain on paper towels. If you like, you can keep them in a warm oven while you cook the rest.

OR DARKER, I said. Or Darker.

And you’re done! And don’t worry – the chicken is so healthy you won’t have to feel guilty about the fried polenta.

Cheerio!


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