Holy cannoli, this is a good recipe! I saw it on Tasty's Facebook page yesterday and made it tonight. I could tell from looking at it that it would be good, but how good really surprised me. My husband and I were both crazy about it, we agreed it's something we'd be happy to be served in a restaurant. It's also quite easy to make, but looks rather fancy. This is definitely something I would make for guests!
As is the norm for me, I made a couple of changes. The original recipe didn't call for garlic or salt in the spinach mixture, and you were supposed to add salt and pepper to the chicken after stuffing it. The recipe is very simple and I thought correctly that garlic would be a really good addition. I also chose to use both mozzarella and cheddar because I had both, and why not? One or the other individually would be great, too!
Hasselback Chicken aka Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 oz fresh spinach (by weight)
1 C ricotta cheese
3/4 C grated mozzarella, or to taste
1/4 C grated cheddar, or to taste
spanish style paprika to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and use aluminum foil to line a baking dish that has sides. Lightly grease the foil.
Clean the chicken breasts and make several deep cuts (not all the way through!) 1 centimeter apart on top of the chicken breasts, accordion style. Place the chicken breasts in the baking dish. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium and add garlic, saute until it begins to turn golden. Add spinach and saute until it wilts. Add ricotta and stir until well combined with the spinach. Add salt to taste.
Spoon the spinach ricotta mixture into the cuts on the chicken breasts. Top with the mozzarella and cheddar, then sprinkle with a bit of paprika.
Bake chicken until a thermometer inserted into the center of the largest piece registers 160 degrees. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: 4 servings