getting back on the horse

I still remember my first experience with cooking chicken.  The recipe revolved around coconut milk, jarred bell peppers, hot red pepper flakes, and—of course—chicken.  There were other ingredients too, but these were the key components.

I thought the dish sounded divine.  I thought the dish smelled divine.  I thought the dish was the most heavenly thing on earth.  Until I took my first bite.

Somewhere along the line, I had forgotten the salt and added in sugar.  It was intensely sweet, and not in any sort of good way.  Think of what cotton candy would taste like with your favorite chicken dish, and you’ll have an idea of what I’m talking about.  I quickly dumped the contents of my frying pan, vowing that never again would I make chicken. 

But really, who was I fooling?  My parents raised me to get back on that horse, and so I did. 

My second experience with chicken resulted in a masterpiece.  I’m convinced that stuffing a chicken warrants you an instant gourmet status, whether or not you spent hours (or +dollars) on the dish.  Despite being one of the simplest chicken recipes I’ve made, this chicken has the persona of being all fancy schmancy.  It does not, however, come along with a hefty price tag of ingredients, nor does it demand that you spend hours upon hours in the kitchen. 

This dish will always hold a special spot in my file of recipes, both for being irresistibly delicious and for being my first successful attempt with chicken  The family loves it too, which is just another added bonus. 

I bet you will too. 😀

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
As seen in “Health” magazine (with minor tweaking 😉 )

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • black pepper
  • 1 (10-oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
  • 4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 oz. bottled roasted red bell peppers, divided
  • 1 T. butter, melted
  • 1/4 c. Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs (I made my own with whole wheat bread, toasted until dry in oven, processed, and mixed with Italian seasoning)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, oregano, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper; cook and stir until onion is soft (about 5 minutes.)  Remove from heat and add spinach, stirring to combine; set aside.
  3. Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally, using a sharp knife.  Place bottom halves of breasts in a 9×9-inch baking dish, setting top halves aside.  Divide spinach filling evenly among breasts; top each portion with one-fourth of roasted red peppers and replace top halves of breasts.
  4. Brush top half of each chicken breast with melted butter; sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Add 1/4 c. water (avoiding breadcrumbs) to baking dish and bake for 40 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.
  5. ENJOY! 😀

Question: Have you ever made a big mistake in following a recipe?  Did it still come out *good* or did it taste horribly wrong?  I’m pretty sure mistaking sugar for salt or vice versa will never result in a good thing. 😉

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12 thoughts on “getting back on the horse

  1. I tried to make curry once but it tasted so horrible I couldn’t even stomach it. I don’t know if it was the curry powder or what… but I must shamefully admit that I did not get back on the horse 😮 Yikes!

    I stuff chicken breasts all the time! It’s so much fun to tie them up with string too 😛 Last time, I put asiago cheese and dried figs in the middle 🙂
    ❤ Tat

  2. That looks awesome! I remember my first chicken dish….Balsamic Vinegar and Mushroom Chicken. I was so afraid I wouldn’t cook the chicken enough, but then I didn’t add quite enough oil to keep the chicken from sticking, and then the loud sizzling noise it made when I put it in the pan scared the crap out of me….

    but then it turned out great! Wahoo!

  3. I haven’t eaten meat in over two years now, but that does look amazing. I occasionally miss it when I see delicious recipes like this. If I ever do introduce meat back into my diet I would definitely try this!

  4. I loved stuffed anything and this look fantastic. I usually shy away from stuffing because I think it takes too long. I’ll work on that.

    Speaking of looking good, have you compared your pictures now to a year ago? You have improved so much! Your pictures are crisp, excellent depth of field, and you can tell that you pay attention to lighting. Yours is one of the first blogs I subscribed to and it’s still one of my favorites. Keep it up!

    • That means so much. THANK YOU! 😀

      I’ve definitely been learning a lot along the way, and I can honestly say that I enjoy it more now than I did a year ago. 😀

  5. I don’t generally follow recipes…so I’ve never really had a horrible experience, per se. I’ve had a couple horrible experiences while deviating from the original recipe, though. 😉

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