Good midweek meals are those that easily do double or even triple duty. Even better ones are also healthy and quick to prepare.
This luscious recipe for roasted stuffed chicken breasts calls for just seven ingredients (two of which are salt and pepper) and about five minutes effort.
Here's how it works. Thick chicken breasts are cut almost in half horizontally, leaving just enough attached to allow the breasts to open clam shell-style.
Chopped spinach, goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes then are layered inside the breast and covered with the top half of the chicken. The chicken then is spritzed with oil, seasoned and baked.
The result is a stuffed chicken that is moist inside and crisp outside. And the leftovers are equally good.
For lunch the following day, cut a breast into 1/2-inch slices and arrange them on bread (a small baguette is especially good). Wrap the sandwich in foil or plastic wrap, then heat briefly before eating.
To turn the leftovers into a second dinner, roughly chop any remaining breasts. Toss everything into a large saucepan, along with a chopped onion and enough chicken broth to cover everything.Bring to a simmer, season as desired (dried basil and a bit of paprika are nice). Add pasta and cook until tender. You get almost instant homemade chicken soup.
ROASTED STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Olive oil cooking spray
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
10-ounce bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4-ounce log goat cheese, cut into 8 rounds
8 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat it with cooking spray.
Carefully cut each breast almost in half horizontally, leaving about 1/2 inch of meat uncut. Peel back the top half clam shell-style. Set aside.
Place the thawed spinach in the center of a kitchen towel and twist it tightly around it. Over the sink, squeeze the spinach to remove any water.
Spread a quarter of the spinach over the bottom half of each breast, then top with 2 rounds of goat cheese and 2 sun-dried tomato halves. Flip the top half of the chicken breast over the fillings.
Spritz the chicken with cooking spray, then season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, then increase heat to broil. Watching it carefully to prevent burning, broil the chicken for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.