Sunday, March 17

Provolone, Spinach and Shitake Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breast with Shaved Fennel and Arugula Greens

Plating and food presentation play a huge role in how we experience food. When a plate of food is put in front of you the first thing you do is look at it. That's just natural. At this point, the calculating has already begun, you are deciding if  it's going to be a scrumptious eating adventure or a blah eating experience. Most often, your predictions are correct. This recipe has the potential to be arguably one of the best meals you will ever put betwixt your pearly whites. It's got it all..... color, different textures, shape and proportion. I already know it's divine, now it's your turn to decide. If you can't tell from this dazzling photo, then spend an afternoon cooking this most fabulous of meals. You won't be surprised at the results, your mouth will back up what your eyes have already told you!

Provolone, Spinach and Shitake Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breast with Shaved Fennel and Arugula Greens
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Stuffed Chicken
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil, plus a drizzle for the grill pan, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, plus a pinch, divided use
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus a pinch, divided use
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 3 ½ ounce package shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
  • 4 slices of Provolone cheese
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
  • ¼ cup sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped, divided use
  • 8 toothpicks
  • 1 lemon, sliced into 4 circles for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with foil.
  • On a large plate or platter, marinate the chicken breast by adding 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the lemon zest and juice, the Italian seasoning, the ¼ teaspoon of the salt, the ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper, the garlic powder and the paprika; allow to marinate for about 20 minutes while the mushrooms are sautéed, and the salad ingredients are prepped.
  • In a medium sized pan set over medium-high heat, add the 2 remaining tablespoons of the olive oil, and once hot, add the sliced shitake mushrooms; once the mushrooms begin to soften, add the pinch of salt and the pinch of black pepper, plus the 2 cloves of pressed garlic to the pan, and sauté quickly for about 1-2 minutes, until slightly golden; remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside until ready to use for the filling. (*At this time, you can now prepare the Salad ingredients and the Dressing found below, and hold those in the fridge until ready to serve.)
  • After marinating the chicken breasts, heat a grill pan on medium-high heat; once very hot, add the drizzle of olive oil, and add the marinated chicken breasts to the grill pan; cook the chicken breasts for only 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown on the outside; you DO NOT want to cook the chicken all the way through, only to grill the outside, as it will finish cooking in the oven.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill pan, and once cool enough to handle, make a large slit into the thickest part of the breast to create a deep pocket; be careful not to slice all the way through the breast cutting it in half, but just enough to make a large pocket to stuff; next, begin to stuff each breast with a slice of the Provolone cheese, a few leaves of the baby spinach, a spoon of the sundried tomatoes, a spoon of the sautéed shitake mushrooms and a pinch of the chopped parsley; secure each breast by using 2 toothpicks to hold the breast closed, and place each stuffed breast onto the foil lined baking sheet and into the oven to bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted; remove from oven, and remove the toothpicks; keep warm until ready to serve.

Shaved Fennel and Arugula Greens with Lemon-Parmesan Dressing
  • 1 (7 ounce) bag wild Arugula greens
  • 1 small bulb fennel, quartered, cored and sliced very thinly
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed through garlic press
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • In a medium bowl, add the Arugula and the sliced Fennel, and toss together; hold in the fridge while you make the dressing.
  • In a small bow, add the lemon juice through the garlic, and lightly whisk to combine; next, slowly begin drizzling in the olive oil, whisking all the while until the dressing is well emulsified; set aside until ready to dress the greens.
  • Once ready to serve the salad with the Stuffed Chicken, drizzle the dressing over the Arugula greens and Fennel, and toss well to coat; serve with the Stuffed Chicken.
Place one Stuffed Chicken Breast onto each plate, along with a generous portion of the Fennel and Arugula Greens on the side; add a lemon slice, a sprinkle of the pine nuts and a sprinkle of the chopped parsley on top of each chicken breast, for garnish.


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