We eat a lot of chicken. It is so versatile, and it seems like the possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking with chicken. When it’s cold out, I love something delicious, straight out of the oven to “warm the cockles of my heart” as my dad used to say. Last night was a perfect night for a hot dish out of the oven too. I made chicken stuffed with chorizo, spinach and mushrooms, and topped it with a red pepper coulis for dinner. I served it with wild rice and asparagus topped with mushrooms, garlic, onions and red peppers. It was a very colorful dinner, with the reds, oranges and greens of the season.
I roasted my pepper first, so I could let it sweat and cool before peeling it. I just place directly on the burner of my gas stove and then got it completely blackened.
Once the pepper is completely blackened, place it in a plastic bag to let it sweat for at least a half hour. The blackened outside will just peel right off very easily after it has cooled. Once all the peeling has been removed, rinse it off to remove any additional peeling that remains. Cut off the top and remove all the seeds by just sliding your fingers in a downward motion, and all the seeds will slide right off.
While my pepper was cooling, I made the filling for the chicken.
Chorizo, Spinach, Mushroom Stuffing
4-5 mushrooms, sliced thin
1 TBSP garlic
1 shallot, minced
about 2 cups baby spinach, with stems removed, chiffonade
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb ground chorizo
In a hot skillet, add the chorizo first, and break it up, and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients, and saute until the sausage is completely cooked.
Once everything is completely cooked, set it aside and let it cool. If needed, drain off the excess oil.
Look at the size of this chicken breast. Can you believe this is ONLY 1 breast? Wrap the chicken in plastic wrap and pound it out with a meat tenderizer until it is only about 1/4-1/2″ thick, so you can roll it. Make sure to pound it out on a cutting board so you do not ruin your counter tops or island surface. You might have to re-adjust the plastic wrap so the chicken is completely covered when you are pounding it out, otherwise you will destroy the meat.
Once the chicken is flattened, add the stuffing mixture and fill the center, but leave about 1/8-1/4 inch around the edges free. Then roll it in a tight spiral, making sure to fold in the edges, like you are rolling a burrito. Regardless of what stuffing you use, the procedure is the same.
Place the rolled chicken breast(s) into a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray and roast at 375*F for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked.
Roasted Red Pepper Coulis
1-2 whole red peppers (you can use any color pepper you want)
1 TBSP garlic
salt & pepper to taste
2-3 TBSP olive oil
Roast the peppers until they are completely blackened on the outside. You can do this on a grill, in the oven, or as I do, directly on the burner of my gas stove. Unless I am roasting a lot of peppers at the same time, I usually just place them right on my burners. Once the peppers are completely blackened, place them in a plastic bag to let them sweat for at least 30 minutes. Once they have cooled, just slide your fingers over the skin, and it will peel right off very easily. Cut the top of the pepper off, and remove the seeds. Again, they will just slide right off with just your fingers.
Place everything in a food processor, and blend until you have a thick liquid. This can be served either warm or at room temperature, although I prefer it warm. Top it over your meat and serve.
Because the red pepper coulis is a mild, light sauce, and it was served over chicken, my wine choice was a nice rich, buttery, oakey chardonnay.