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PEPPER STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH SPINACH
From COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts


4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
3 TBLS canola oil (divided)
1 red bell pepper, julienned (about 1 cup)
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned (about 1 cup)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 TBLS butter (divided)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TLBS lemon zest
1 TBLS fresh thyme
3 cups chicken stock
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 pound spinach leaves
1/4 pound watercress

Preheat oven to 400º F. In sauté pan over medium-low heat, warm one tablespoon canola oil. Add red and yellow peppers; sweat until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate to cool.

Cut slit in underside of each breast half, creating a pocket. Stuff peppers into breast slits. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

In large, ovenproof sauté pan, warm remaining two tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sear 2 minutes. Place pan in oven; cook 8 minutes, then turn and cook additional 4 minutes.

While chicken is cooking in oven, place chicken stock and bouillon cube in deep saucepan; bring to a simmer. Add spinach leaves and watercress, stirring and tossing well until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove greens from pan, reserving stock. Drain greens on paper towels. Boil stock and cook until liquid is reduced and begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Whisk in one tablespoon butter.

Remove chicken from oven, place pan over burner on medium heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, garlic, lemon zest and thyme. Baste chicken with butter sauce for thirty seconds; remove pan from heat.

To serve, place spinach and watercress leaves in center of bowl or on plate. Top with chicken breast half. Spoon sauce over greens.


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