It was inevitable that one of mom's recipes would cause me to breakdown. Actually I thought it would be something she made that I used to request or a favorite holiday dish. So it was a surprise to find myself emotional over chicken breasts.
The recipe's instruction threw me a bit when I first looked at it. I knew some steps must be missing but mom taught me to be resourceful and I was sure I could figure it out. What I wasn't prepared to handle was how completely helpless I felt that I couldn't call her to ask what I was doing wrong. She wasn't there to explain. She won't be there anymore to sympathize with me or cheer me on.
It helped that my husband asked for seconds and said it was really good. I think my red eyes and sniffles told him what I needed to hear. It wasn't mom's reassuring voice but she would have said it was delicious and the next time I make this dish it will be easier.
Mom also would have had a good laugh with me about how funny the chicken looked. The stuffing was oozing out and there were a half dozen toothpicks sticking out of each piece because of my attempt to pin them together. I'm sure there will be more tears over her recipes but I will find my own way of making them work.
Spinach stuffed chicken breasts, serves 8-10
1 med. onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano
Salt & pepper
8 halves boneless chicken breasts
Bake at 350 degrees F about 30 minutes.
My additional instructions:
1. Saute the chopped onion in the butter.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine onions with spinach, cheese, egg and seasonings.
3. Pound the chicken breat halves to make them more uniform in thickness. Mound some of the spinach mixture in the middle of each chicken breasts and roll sides in to contain the filling. Secure with toothpicks if necessary.
4. I browned them in the same skillet the onions were sauted in before putting into a baking dish. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink, about 30 mins in 350 degree oven.