Worst picture ever, I know. It was 11:30 pm and I might have had a libation or two. Until I make it again you’ll just have to imagine ooey gooey cheese, fun bright colors from the sweet red peppers and healthy baby spinach, the delightful tang from the dijon mustard and, you know…. bacon. There’s bacon.
It’s basically like a sandwich – on a really cool planet where they use chicken on the outside instead of bread.
I know I recently said “don’t use jarred sauce”, but then the realness of not having time to make dinner until almost 10pm with achy feet hit me. So… on those nights or similar, you probably should use jarred sauce. But the good stuff (no brand whose regular price is under $3.99). First ingredient should be “tomatoes”. Not tomato paste, puree or juice or something else.
So we served this with spaghetti and some wonderfully convenient jarred sauce and it all went great together. Probably would go great with pesto as well or a simple cacio e pepe.
Easily converted into a low fodmap dish (see recipe notes).
3boneless skinless chicken breasts(at least 1.5 lbs)
1TBSPSouthern poultry seasoning(see low fodmap options at end of recipe)
1/2tspground black pepper
1ozbaby spinach leaves
1roasted red peppercut into strips
6pickle slices(add before the spinach)
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In a large cast iron skillet, (or oven ready skillet/pan) cook bacon until just done – don't let it get too crispy. Reserve 1 TBSP of bacon grease. Let bacon drain on a paper plate lined with paper towels and set aside. Remove pan from heat.
Mix salt, pepper & poultry seasoning in a small ramekin or bowl.
Set out your spinach leaves, cheese, red pepper strips and mustard so you don't have to keep washing your hands.
Between wax paper, pound chicken breasts until they are even at about 3/4" thick.
Season both sides of the chicken with seasoning mixture. Pick the side you want to be the top (or the fragile side with the holes in it) and season it a bit more than the other.
With a good knife, cut a pocket into the chicken in one of the long sides – not slicing through to the short sides, and not coming out the other end. As big a pocket as you can without breaking through.
Begin stuffing chicken. First add baby spinach – at least 4-5 leaves laying flat in the pockets.
Next – break bacon strips in half and cover with mustard. Place in chicken on top of the spinach.
Next add the cheese, Push square slice of cheese in the pocket from the slice center with your fingers. Next add another half a slice.
Finally, add the strips of red peppers, wherever they will fit, but preferably on top of the cheese.
Put cast iron skillet with reserved bacon grease back on medium heat and add 1 TBSP of butter.
Carefully place stuffed breasts in cast iron with tongs and saute until bottom is browned, 4-7 minutes.
(If you made perfect pockets in your chicken, you can brown the other side, and do the whole toothpick thing if preferred – otherwise I don't recommend flipping the bird…)
Remove from stove and loosely (and carefully with oven mitts) cover the skillet with foil.
Place skillet in oven and bake at 375 F for 20 minutes.
Remove foil and cook for another 5-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through and registers 165 F with a meat thermometer.
Let sit for a minute or two and then serve with your favorite pasta and sauce on the side.
The only thing in this recipe that isn’t low-fodmap is the poultry seasoning, which has both onion and garlic. Sub this out for a mix of 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp paprika, & 1/4 tsp ground oregano (or 1/2 tsp oregano leaves) and perhaps use a TBSP of garlic-infused olive oil instead of the butter.
Music to cook by: Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays “As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls”
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