This recipe intrigued me – I mean, it even just sounds good. Chicken? Check. Cheese? Check. Puff Pastry? Double-Check. What’s there not to love here? Nothing. And the best part – the possibilities of what to stuff are endless.
I had always thought these cookies (which, actually, are nothing like cookies and more like tiny cakes) were slightly intimidating (for they are temperamental when baking, every second counts). But in all honesty, they were quite simple and to the point. Besides, the gorgeous traces of orange zest on the puffy, airy cookies look just exquisite and give the impression of taking far longer to prepare then they actually do.
2 Chicken Breasts, skinless and boneless
3-4 tablespoons of ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons of chopped spinach
1 large sheet of puff pastry (or two small squares – the large sheet works better in terms of wrapping)
salt, pepper and chili flakes for garnish
It’s unbelievably simple. First, make a cut in the chicken breast as deep as possible, without breaking through to the other side. (This is a bit more difficult with chicken-breasts here in Kuwait, since most of ours are a lot smaller than what can be found in the states, so if you’re making this there you can probably double the stuffing recipe). In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta and spinach together. Add salt, pepper and chili flakes, if desired. Put the stuffing into the insert made in the chicken. Have your egg already beaten and puff pastry pre-rolled and prepared. Place the chicken breast on top, and start folding over – use the egg wash as a glue to hold the flaps over the chicken. Make sure the breast is completely covered with the puff pastry, then place on a foil rack with the smooth side facing up – brush with the egg wash before inserting to a pre-heated oven at 180 C. Bake for 30-35 minutes (don’t over-do it, or the chicken will overcook).
That’s really how simple it was. The puff pastry was flaky, crusty and perfect. Next time I plan to use a more pungent cheese like Gouda, or even Blue Cheese. That’s one of the cool things about this recipe – as easy as it is, it’s fun to play with what you use as stuffing. Plus, once you can bring yourself to cut your little chicken-baby (all snug in it’s blanket) in half, it makes such gorgeous presentation. I served it alongside my easy-peasy-pasta recipe I posted about earlier. All in all, dinner took about 40 minutes to make last night – and was just delicious.