A warm hello to all of Mara’s readers! I’m Becca from “Starting Over From Scratch”. I haven’t been blogging too long but I’ve been a big fan of Mara’s blog for quite sometime and if I ever make it back to Chicago I want her to take me on a culinary adventure through the city! It would be like a foodie match made in heaven. I wish I was writing this guest post under better circumstances but unfortunately that is not the case. Please keep Mara and her family in your thoughts and prayers as they need it right now.
Life has definitely been a roller coaster for me this past year. I lost my job, broke up with two boyfriends (it’s them, not me!), moved twice, and instead of rejoining the work force I decided to enroll in culinary school.
Nine months later, I am proud to say that I’ve made it, and in less than two weeks, I will be graduating from Johnson and Wales with an Associate’s in Culinary Arts. It has, by far, been the most rewarding thing I have done and brought complete joy to my life. I hope everyone has the chance to experience that kind of happiness in their lifetime, the sooner the better!
On Monday I started my last class, Classical French Cuisine. It’s the hardest class of the 15 labs I’ve had to take. So you think after spending 7 hours in the lab the last thing I would want to do is come home and cook, right? Truth is, I hardly ever cook at home anymore, but I had the crazy idea in my head for Prosciutto wrapped Chicken Breast stuffed with Spinach, Artichokes, and Goat Cheese so I had to go with it. The Chicken turned out so well and it’s really easy, I just had to share it with you.
PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED CHICKEN
I started off with 2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. Lay them out flat on your cutting board after rinsing and drying them off.
Then butterfly them open.You want to cut the chicken in half down the side and open it up like a book. Don’t worry if one side is thicker than the other, a meat mallet can be used to pound it out.
Make sure to season the inside of your meat. TWSS! Use kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Next up is making the stuffing/filling for the chicken.
I roughly chopped 1/2 a jar of marinated artichoke hearts from Trader Joes.
Used half of the log of herb goat cheese. Can you believe this was only $2.49 at Trader Joes? It was 7.99 at the first grocery store I went to! The herbs in the goat cheese just add an extra layer of flavor, you could obviously use plain if that’s all you have on hand.
Mix together artichokes and goat cheese with 1/2 box of frozen spinach that has been thawed and drained. Season with Salt and Pepper. It looks just like spinach artichoke dip which essentially it is. I totally could have eaten this with some chips.
Now it’s time to stuff the chicken.
Evenly distribute the mixture to one side of each chicken breast.
Fold over the other half and season the outside with salt and pepper. You may think I am using too much salt and pepper but there are a lot of different flavors going on throughout the dish and the salt and pepper will only enhance them, not overpower them. I used to barely use salt in my cooking and each teacher I have had has encouraged me to use more and I can’t tell you what a difference a little salt makes. It takes the dish to a whole other level.
Wrap each breast in Prosciutto. I used 2 1/2 pieces for each. I put a little oil in the bottom of the dish and brushed the prosciutto with it as well.
Here they are right out of the oven. They smelled heavenly. I baked them at 375 degrees until the internal temperature was 165 degrees. I hate to tell you a time because we all have different ovens and different size breasts, ha! By baking to 165 you ensure that you’ve killed off any salmonella and other bacteria and still have moist, juicy chicken.
I let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before slicing on the bias. It’s not only delicious but pretty too! To make it even more eye appealing, you could have spread the spinach layer even over the whole inside (instead of just one half) and rolled it, giving it a pinwheel effect. Either way it’s a crowd pleaser. These two breast could easily feed four people.
I had 3 slices (1/2 breast) and couldn’t even finish it all and I’m a big girl with a big appetite! On the side I enjoyed Jenna’s Better Than Fried Artichokes. They were the perfect compliment to the chicken!
Well, folk’s that’s all I’ve got for you now! I want to thank Mara for letting me guest post! It’s my first one and I hope all of you enjoyed it! Please head over to my blog, check it out, and if you try the chicken let me know what you think!