These flavors are bold; a goat cheese stuffing holds its own against a tomato sauce containing Greek olives and a dash of anchovies. Anchovy paste can be used, or fine-chop a small can of whole anchovies, freezing the leftovers to preserve flavor. Plan 4-6 oz. of meat per serving; this recipe serves 6 or so.
- Approx. 3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 6 half breasts)
- 8 oz. goat cheese (soft style)
- 6 oz. (small bag) spinach
- 1/2 c. fine bread crumbs* (see below for gluten-free substitute)
- 1/2 TBS. chopped garlic
- 2 TBS. olive oil (plus some oil for sautéing)
- One 28-oz. can tomatoes, chopped
- 2/3 c. (or more) Greek olives (about 3-4 oz.)
- 2 tsp. anchovy paste
- 1/4 c. chopped parsley for garnish
1. Prepare chicken breasts by hammering to about 1/2-inch thick. A meat hammer (with a large surface area, usually somewhat “spiked”) will tenderize the meat and thin it out, so the meat will cook through but stay tender. Use: > 3 lb. chicken breasts
2. To each piece of meat, spread the top with goat cheese. Use: > 8 oz. goat cheese
3. To half the pieces, add a handful of spinach on top of the goat cheese and top with another breast piece (goat cheese facing in). The spinach will shrink considerable after cooking, but will seem bulky beforehand. Use: > 6 oz. spinach
4. These “stuffed” chicken breasts are actually more of a “sandwich”, which makes them easier to deal with. Dip the top and bottoms of each “sandwich” into the fine bread crumbs (or seasoned oat flour mix, as mentioned at end of recipe). Use: > 1/2 c. bread crumbs (or oat flour mix)
5. In a hot skillet, add a splash of oil and the layered chicken-goat-spinach pieces. Grill until golden brown on one side; flip to brown other side. Depending on size and thickness of the chicken breasts, they will take 15 minutes (or more) to cook through. Remove the browned, “stuffed” chicken to a Pyrex (or other) casserole dish and finish cooking in a 350-degree oven until cooked through.
6. Meanwhile, prepare the easy tomato sauce. In a hot saucepan, add the oil and garlic, turning pan off to let the garlic “steep”. The garlic should only get “transparent”, or to a light golden color. If the pan’s too hot and the garlic starts to darken, add some of the canned tomato to cool it down a little. In the pre-heated saucepan, add: > 2 TBS. olive Oil > 1/2 TBS. chopped garlic
7. After a few minutes of steeping, add the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil: > 28 oz. can tomatoes, chopped > 1/3 c. or so Greek olives, pitted and quartered > 2 tsp. anchovy paste (or chopped anchovy)
8. To serve, top with cooked stuffed chicken with the tomato sauce, and a sprinkling of parsley. A side of vegetables and a favorite pasta or rice rounds out the meal.
* Substitute for bread crumbs: Use a seasoned mixture of “oat flour” (oatmeal is processed until fine in a food processor or blender). Favorite herbs and a dash of salt can be added, for a whole-grain, non-gluten substitute for those bread crumbs. (Non-gluten if you buy the right oatmeal!)