Bruschetta Chicken

Monday, we meet again.

Have you got a case of the Mondays today? I sure do. My parents are off to Amsterdam and Paris for the week, and the Kiwi and I are back at work after a great weekend of castles, hiking, and the Kocherball. Bummer, man. I can’t really complain though. We’re meeting up with them in the Black Forest on Friday, so life’s not that bad. I guess.

Today I thought I’d share my version of a Pinterest find. I made it for my mom when she was here back in April, and it was one of the first things she requested I make when they decided to come back this summer. This is super simple y’all. You can do with when you’re dead on your feet after a full day of running, bike riding, and walking 40 million miles; or just work.

Kiwi+Peach: Bruschetta Chicken

Bruschetta Chicken

{adapted for two from this Flickr}

The Chicken
2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg
2 tsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp garlic salt

The Bruschetta
2 medium tomatoes
8-10 fresh basil leaves
5-6 fresh oregano leaves
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

The Pasta
4 oz whole wheat pasta
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
juice from 1/2 a lemon {about 1 tbsp}
1 clove of garlic, minced

Preheat the oven to 375°F/180°C. Using olive oil and a pastry brush, grease the bottom of a glass baking dish.

Measure your flour and put it in a shallow bowl.  In a separate bowl, crack your egg and scramble it a bit. Coat the chicken with the flour first, then dip it in the egg, and place it in the baking dish.

In a separate bowl, melt the butter and add then bead crumbs, cheese, and salt. Give it a mix, making sure that the butter is absorbed, then spoon it over the tops of the chicken breasts.

Cover it with tin foil and pop it in the oven. Set your timer for about 35 minutes.

While its baking, I go ahead and whip up the tomato topping and make my pasta. Since the tomato topping is essentially the ‘sauce’ for the pasta too I make a lot. Chop up everything and add it to a medium sized bowl. Give it a toss and let it sit for a bit.

When the timer goes off, remove the tin foil and spoon the tomatoes on top of the chicken breasts. Put it back in the oven {uncovered} for 5 more minutes so the tomatoes can get nice and warm.

For the pasta, boil your jug and cook the pasta according to the directions on the package {usually 11-13 minutes for whole wheat pasta}. Always remember to salt your water. It makes the pasta taste so much yummier! When its finished, drain the water and turn off the heat. Return the pasta to the pot and mix in the parmesan, garlic, and lemon juice.

Serve the chicken on a bed of pasta and dig in. I suppose you could forego the pasta altogether and have a nice salad with this instead of carbo-loading, but where’s the fun in that. {Just kidding. I think it would be real tasty!}

Stuffed Chicken Parmesan

What are your feelings on spinach? I love spinach. I really do. But there is this thing that happens when we want to cook with spinach…burnout.

Spinach can technically grow all year, but most of the year the only way we can get it is in size ginormous. I’m talking like 5 cups of spinach in a bag. When you are only cooking for two people that’s a ridiculously large amount of spinach to consume. We literally have to eat spinach every day for a straight week to use it up that much spinach. {I guess I could take up drinking smoothies for breakfast, but I don’t see that happening just yet.} Sure I could just use what I need and let the rest go to waste, but then I just feel guilty. {There are starving kids, you know?} Anyway, after this week long spinach binge, I never want to see spinach again–until two weeks later I forget about it and buy another bag.

Needless to say, there are a number of recipes that I throw some spinach in to use it up. And why not? Spinach is great for you {just ask our favorite sailor}. It’s chock full of vitamins A and C and minerals like iron and calcium. {Maybe I should rethink those smoothies.} This recipe, though, has to be one of my favorites. I have had a hankering for it for a couple weeks, but was hesitant to put it on the meal plan because I knew it would another spinach binge. However, this past week I spied a bulk bin of spinach at our local. Much to the displeasure of all the German shoppers around me, I may or may not have let out a squeal of glee. Thank goodness it’s finally spinach season! We can buy only the spinach we need and I can make this deliciousness any time I’d like!

Stuffed Chicken Parmesan

{adapted for two from Skinny Taste}

The Stuffing
1 cup fresh spinach
1/4 cup ricotta cheese {cream cheese or mascarpone work too)
1 clove garlic, minced
3 fresh oregano leaves, chopped
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

The Breading
1 egg
¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 more fresh oregano leaf, chopped
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 or 2 chicken breasts {Depending on how much meat the carnivore in your house requires. We use 1, and he doesn’t complain.}

The Toppings
½ cup pasta sauce
½ ball of buffalo mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 450°F/225°C.

First we’ll prep the stuffing. Start by putting a healthy handful of spinach in a medium size bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds. {This will wilt the spinach just enough to make it easier to mix with the other ingredients and eventually stuff the chicken.} Then add the rest of the stuffing ingredients and mix well.

Go ahead and prepare the dish you are baking this yumminess in {I use olive oil, but Pam or straight butter would get the job done as well}.

Now onto the breading. Get out two bowls. In one, crack your egg and beat it a bit. In the other combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic salt, and pepper.

Now it gets a little messy…

Using a meat tenderizer {a wine bottle works too–I know this from experience}, pound the chicken out until it is about the thickness of your pinky finger and then cut it in half. Spoon the spinach mixture on the chicken and roll it up. Then dip the rolled chicken first into the egg and then into the bread crumbs. Make sure it is coated all over and then transfer to the baking dish seam side down. Repeat for second bit of chicken and then pop it into the oven for 25 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, I usually put some pasta on or whip up a salad. {Full disclosure: I’ve never made a salad with this–usually because we will be having a spinach salad at some point in the week and I need some pasta in my life. But the point is that you could. You could have a nice healthy salad. We have pasta.}

Anyway…

After the chicken bakes for 25 minutes, take it out and cover the top with your favorite pasta sauce and a nice slice of mozzarella. Put it back in the oven to heat the sauce and melt the cheese. This usually takes about 5 more minutes for me. After that, plate up and dig in!