SPINACH, PARMESAN AND PINE NUT FILLED CHICKEN BREASTS or PETTI DI POLLO RIPIENE DI SPINACI, PARMIGIANO E PINOLI

spinach

I have two spinach recipes that I have ‘inherited’ from my Italian mother-in-laws, well only one can really be called that but a former boy friend’s mother was the first to stir my interest in real Italian cooking, i.e. the food Italians eat at home. She made a really simple salad of cooked spinach leaves with vinegar and olive oil that I could have died for. My real mother-in-law, who actually checks out Lucullian everyday to see the photos, is a better cook (and I’m not saying this to flatter her because she doesn’t understand English, French yes but not English) and she is also a very good mother-in-law as well if you are interested to know that. Anyway, she makes a great but simple dish with spinach and parmesan that is a classic in my family where it is called Spinaci alla Nonna and I have adapted it a little to make this chicken breast filled with spinach, parmesan and pine nuts.

chicken and spinach1

SPINACH, PARMESAN AND PINE NUT FILLED CHICKEN BREASTS or PETTI DI POLLO RIPIENE DI SPINACI, PARMIGIANO E PINOLI

1 single chicken breast per person
Spinach, I used fresh but you can use frozen too
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Pine nuts
Salt
Extra virgin olive oil

– Braise the spinach until soft, if needed add some water.
– Add the grated parmesan, taste to get the right balance for you, I add quite a lot. Go on braising until the two have become one so to speak. Check if you need more salt and add the pine nuts.
– Cut the chicken breast open so that you can put the spinach inside and close it by folding it together.
– Tie it together and braise the chicken breasts on medium heat all around until they are ready which isn’t easy to know put if you press on them they should resist the push and not be too soft. It takes about 10-15 minutes, depending on how big they are.
– Serve with a salad or vegetables.

chicken and spinach2

L