Two weekends ago we went camping with my mom’s side of the family for a long weekend. It is our annual family reunion that happens to also serve as an unofficial “meeting of the family foodies.” There are a lot of great cooks in our crew, and whenever we come together, we eat well. Probably just a bit too well, but nothing that a mid-weekend run or hike in the woods won’t cure.
Each year, months before the actual reunion, the planning begins. Reservations are made. Sleeping arrangements are assigned. And meal duties are distributed. And for months before we convene on whatever cabin in the woods we happen to be visiting that year, recipes are developed.
For one of the dinners this year, my mom’s sister, her husband, three kids, son-in-law and grandson combined to come up with a wonderful meal. The highlight of the meal was a breaded hummus-stuffed chicken breast, which, despite containing copious amounts of spinach, was gobbled up by almost everyone (25 in all!) there, including my two boys.
I think the trick for this recipe is that the spinach is basically hid inside a giant chicken nugget. But a grown-up version of chicken it is, and therefore a winner recipe for kids and parents alike.
Family Reunion Stuffed Chicken (for our reunion, my aunt multiplied this by 6)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup hummus
1 – 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup all purpose flour
2 egg, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Take each chicken breast and lay flat. Using a sharp knife, slice each breast in half, only about 2/3 of the way through, hence creating a slit.
Mix the hummus, spinach, pine nuts, salt and pepper.
Place ¼ of the hummus mixture inside each chicken breast, securing it with a toothpick.
Dredge each chicken breast in flour, dip in egg, and then breadcrumbs, and place on a cookie sheet.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet to medium high. Place all four chicken breasts in the pan, and sauté for a few minutes on each side, to brown.
Transfer to a clean cookie sheet and bake in the oven to finish the cooking of the chicken, about 10-12 minutes. Slice into one chicken breast to ensure it fully cooked, ie, no longer pink.
My aunt developed this recipe based on something she saw in a Rachael Ray magazine, but with her own personal twist!