Chef’s Notes: This was a dish that was served at the Italian restaurant I once worked at. Their recipe is top secret (and they’ve got Mafia connections! 😉 ) so this is only a close approximation. This dish is very rich and satisfying…and is best enjoyed with Frank Sinatra on the stereo and goblets filled with wine.
Ricotta-Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushroom-Alfredo Sauce
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. wine (red, white, or a splash of both)
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp. fresh basil, minced
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
3/4 C. ricotta cheese
1/2 pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 T. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. unsalted butter
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 C. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 C. fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
Pound chicken breasts as thin as possible, at least to 1/4-inch thickness, and place in shallow glass dish. Combine all marinade ingredients except olive oil in food processor and process. Slowly pour in olive oil and continue to process until mixture is blended and frothy. Pour marinade over the chicken, turning to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove chicken from marinade. Combine filling ingredients and spread evenly onto each chicken breast. Fold chicken, tucking in the ends as much as possible. Place filled chicken breasts onto baking sheet and put in oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
To prepare sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and mushrooms.
Place chicken breasts on individual plates or serving platter. Cover with sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley.