This recipe is so good you'll want to put it in your celebration food book. You don't need to wait until you have something to celebrate, but it turns out beautiful and fancy looking, and your effort was minimal, so it's ideal for company! The phyllo dough surrounding each chicken breast gets golden and flaky, breaking into shards at each bite, which is not in the least bit annoying, because you'll return them to your mouth. The chicken breast is stuffed with a simple spanakopita mixture of feta, spinach, garlic, and cream cheese (you probably have nearly everything you need right now!), which is super delicious; if you are a fan of spanakopita, you have no reason to wait.
This recipe is super versatile because you can make it for as many people as you need. Check the TIPS section for measurements for just one person.
Notes: Butter is unsalted.
SPANAKOPITA STUFFED CHICKEN
Ingredients: 4 chicken breasts, 8 ounces softened cream cheese, 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese, 2 cups baby spinach, 2 tsp. minced garlic, sea salt, pepper, 8 tbsp. butter (1 stick), 8 sheets of thawed phyllo dough, and fresh chopped parsley.
1. Preheat and prep: Preheat the oven to 375* F. Carefully slice pockets into the thick side of each chicken breast, beginning an inch or so from the end. (Keep the knife centered along the side of the breast as you cut, making sure only to insert the knife tip a little past halfway.
2. Make the filling: Soften the cream cheese if needed on half-power in the microwave for 20 seconds or so. Chop spinach finely--add to the cream cheese with the feta, garlic, and a large pinch of sea salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Stuff each chicken breast with about 1/2 cup of filling, pressing to close the pocket. (You might have some filling left over.)
3. Wrap the chicken: Working for one breast at a time, lay out two pieces of phyllo dough onto your work surface, one horizontally and the other vertically, centered on top of the first (make a cross). Brush the surface all over with about 1 tbsp. of melted butter. Place the stuffed breast at one end of the phyllo dough and roll up quickly but gently, tucking in both ends to completely encase the chicken. Place the chicken into a baking dish. Finish with the rest.
4. Bake: Pour the remaining 4 tbsp. of melted butter over each wrapped chicken breast. Bake for 35 minutes in a preheated oven. Serve immediately with fresh chopped parsley.
Recipe for 1: 1 breast, 1/4 cup cream cheese, 1/4 cup feta, 1/2 cup chopped spinach, 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, salt, pepper, 2 sheets phyllo dough, 2 tbsp. butter.