Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Parmigiana

When our daughter was about 7 years old she declared that when grew up and got a job she was going to be a food tester! Not a average food tester though she was going to find the best Chicken Parmigiana in the whole world!  Every time we went out for dinner and there was Parmigiana on the menu you could guarantee that she would order one (and to be honest it's now her favourite fall back menu item).

Today she is 14, currently focused on becoming a Food Scientist and yes, still loves her parmas!

Parmigianas are such an iconic dish here in Australia with many pubs boasting they have the best, or the most different varieties. Chicken fillets either coated in breadcrumbs or not - some with ham, some without ham and then others with an array of different toppings such as Mexican, garlic prawns, fried eggs, bolognaise sauce, and the list just goes on and on.  A few of my favourite variations include Acapulco Chicken, Chicken Pizziola, and Veal Campagnola.

I like experimenting with the idea of this dish also so when I read this recipe I knew it would have to be trialed in the House Of Murray...  and it was wonderful.  The filling soft and flavoursome.  The outside crunchy and covered in a mix of tomato and cheese - what more could you want?

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Parmigiana
(Recipe adapted from Women's Weekly Weeknights Fast and Fabulous Cookbook)

Serves: 4

cooking spray
4 chicken breast fillets, all visible fat removed
40 grams baby spinach leaves
1 1/3 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup plain flour
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups stale breadcrumbs
1 cup bottled tomato pasta sauce or passata
1 cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius or 180 degrees Celsius fan-forced.

Line a large baking tray with foil or baking paper and spray with cooking spray.

Using a sharp knife cut a pocket into each chicken breast without cutting through or piercing the outside.

In a small bowl combine spinach, ricotta and onion. Mix well to combine.

Fill each pocket with 1/4 of the ricotta mixture, pushing mixture into the pocket to evenly fill the chicken. Secure pocket opening with toothpicks.

Coat schnitzels in flour, shake off excess. Dip in combined egg and milk, then in breadcrumbs.

Place schnitzels on the baking tray, spray with cooking spray and place in oven. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes, turning once.

Place schnitzels in baking dish, top with sauce and cheese. Roast, uncovered, in oven, 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

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