Sausage-Stuffed Roasted Chicken Breast and Side Dishes

Level:
Easy
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skin on chicken breasts
  • 2 cups flour, for dredging
  • 6 maple breakfast sausage links
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 1 cup condensed milk (as used) or cream
  • 1/4 cup dark raisins
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 (10-ounce) packs frozen spinach
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes
  • Unsalted butter, for sauteing
  • 4 zucchini flowers
  • Small piece Brie
  • 1/2 pound fresh string beans
  • 1 fresh lemon
Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

To prepare chicken: If frozen, thaw the chicken breasts, rinse, pat dry and set aside. Using a large flat plate prepare the "dredging flour" with salt and pepper and set aside. Take 2 of the maple sausage links and cut them into half so you have 4 pieces. Open the chicken breasts and remove the "fillet" and reserve for another use. Make a small pocket in the inside of the breast. Place 1 of the sausage pieces in the pocket and wrap the breast around it creating a closed container surrounding the sausage. Dredge the breasts in the prepared flour and set the 4 breasts on a clean plate. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in an oven safe lidded skillet. Starting with the open end first, brown the breasts fully being careful not to open the closed breast. As the breasts cook, the opening will seal making it easier to finish the searing and browning. Once fully browned cover and place in the oven and cook through. Using a small saucepan, combine basil pesto and cream and mix well. Over medium heat reduce the pesto/cream mixture by 1/3 and set aside.

For the spinach: Plump the raisins in a cup of warm water and set aside. Cut the remaining sausage in to small pieces and set aside. Remove the frozen spinach from the package. Carefully cut the blocks into 8 large pieces. Using a lidded skillet, saute the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the sausage and lightly brown. Add the frozen spinach and cover. When the spinach has totally thawed combine the onion and sausage and season with salt to taste. Add the raisins and their liquid and finish cooking, about 10 minutes. Allow the liquid to evaporate but do not dry out completely.

Tomatoes, zucchini flowers and string beans: Using a non-stick pan quickly sear the tomatoes in some butter. Do not cook them longer than 30 seconds on each side. Reserve the pan and juices for cooking the zucchini flowers. Gently open the zucchini flower and remove the piston from its center. Replace it with a small piece of brie and close the flower. Using the same pan from above quickly cook the zucchini flowers. They are done when you see the Brie melting. Remove from the pan and place 1 on each of the seared tomato slices. Set aside. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the string beans and cook until your desired doneness. Dress with extra virgin olive oil and some freshly squeezed lemon. Season with the freshly ground black pepper.

Remove the roasted chicken breasts from the oven and remove the skin. Place one breast centered on the lower third of the individual plate. Place a zucchini flower topped tomato on each plate centered above the breast. Frame the plate with some dressed sting beans on one side and the sauteed spinach on the other. Slowly re-heat the basil pesto sauce and place 2 to 3 spoonfuls of the sauce on each breast. Serve warm and enjoy.


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