Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Recession: Party of One - Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken & Wilted Spinach

Normally, I feel lost without carbs. If a plate is devoid of a pile of rice or pasta, my culinary mooring post is gone, and I'm a ship lost in a sea of meat and veggies. Ignoring for a moment, that this delicious chicken dish involves a generous coating of, ahem, breadcrumbs, I'm patting myself on the back as I write this for not scarfing a lump of processed flour for dinner, and actually enjoying the meal!


Yes, Recession: Party of One is back and meltier than ever. Read on to see how to make:

MOZZARELLA-STUFFED CHICKEN OVER WILTED SPINACH

1 small chicken breast (I actually used half of a large one)
a couple spoonfuls flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. seasoned bread crumbs
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
1 oz. mozzarella cheese

a couple handfuls spinach leaves
1/4 c. water
sprinkling of white wine vinegar
drizzle olive oil
salt and pepper

STEP ONE:

Cut the chicken breast almost in half, leaving it attached at one edge (butterflied). Pound it out thin with a meat mallet. Season it on both sides with salt and pepper.

STEP TWO:

In a shallow bowl, beat the egg. On one plate, sprinkle the flour. On another plate, lay out the bread crumbs. Dredge the chicken in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs.

STEP THREE:

Preheat the oven to 375. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a nonstick pan. Fry the chicken on one side until it's crisp and brown. Flip and fry the other side until it looks the same. The chicken will most likely not be cooked through, so transfer it to a baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes, until there is no trace of pink in the chicken, and the cheese is melty.

STEP FOUR:

Put the spinach and water in a small pot with a lid. Cover and steam over medium heat until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and Drain. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.

STEP FIVE:

Plate the spinach. Cut the chicken into slices and lay over the greens. Enjoy!



PARTY OF ONE PRICE INDEX

CHICKEN: $1.75
MOZZARELLA: 30 cents
SPINACH: $1.00

Everything else is a pantry staple, which brings our GRAND TOTAL to...

$3.05

Nice! I haven't had one meal yet that wasn't cheaper than a fast food dinner. I must say, I'm impressed.

This was a really tasty meal. Next time, I'd season the chicken a bit more aggressively, and if I had more time and a bit more money, I'd make a quick lemony sauce to go over the top (although a marinara would be delicious, too). If I had just won the lottery, I'd add prosciutto to the cheese inside the chicken, and if I won the lottery AND received magical skinny powers, I'd serve it over a bed of lusciously carby tagliatelle...in a cream sauce!

A gal can dream...

Thanks for reading! More soon.

2 comments:

Mary said...

i think you have more magical skinny powers than you give yourself credit for. I often feel lost with out carbs too, especially when I don't eat meat. And, with a meatarian husband, things can get challenging. When will I see some Indian dinner for one??

ajsamara said...

Ok, Elizabeth. I tried it. I cooked this recipe. I even busted out the meat hammer and some white wine vin. And you know what? It was pretty freaking good!

I'm a novice spinach-welter, so that wound up a little watery. Plus, I underestimated the shrinkage factor... next time I'll double the spinach. But that part still turned out great. Also, I decided to be more "aggressive" with the chicken and seasoned the bread crumbs with oregano, garlic powder, thyme, seasoned salt, and cilantro. Really good despite forgetting to add the parm.

I give the recipe an 8, my rendition a 7 due to poor spinach planning.

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