Elegant Chicken Dish On A Strict Budget
There’s no doubt, chicken is quite an economical way to serve and enjoy good flavor, concentrated protein and essential iron while giving your wallet a little relief. There are so many ways to cook chicken as well. I’ve probably blogged about over three dozen recipes myself. This is one of my favorite ways because it always turns out so elegant and tasty without letting anyone know I’m a huge cheapskate.
Chicken thighs are the new chicken wing. It used to be that the wings were the cheapest cut of chicken because there was no real meat on them. Then the Buffalo wing was born and wing prices went up. I feel guilty for touting the economical benefit of the thigh because it’s one of those same stories where only we cooks know that the thigh is about the tastiest meat on the bird and when it costs five bucks for four pounds of it, most of it meat unlike the wing, we know what a good deal we’re getting…well, you will when you try this dish.
Four thighs was half the package and that is what I cooked for the family this evening. A bit of prep work was in order so here are the steps in the process of making creamy spinach stuffed baked chicken:
- Four thighs with bone removed
- one can spinach well drained
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- a dash each of black pepper, salt, garlic powder
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion.
- spices for the outer skin (I used a Cajun seasoning)
Preheat the oven to 375°. Mix the spinach, mayo, cheese, and the dash of each seasoning, stir in onion and set aside. Turn the chicken thighs skin side down on a cutting board and look for a vein of fat that runs parallel to the bone. With a very sharp knife cut directly along that vein and the bone will be exposed. cut around and even under that bone and remove it, slicing out each end careful not to remove too much meat but all of the joint and its connective matter.
With the bone out, cut a slit in the bigger half and unfold that portion (like a brochure) making a uniformly flat piece of chicken. Spread an even amount of spinach mixture (about 1/3 cup) over the chicken meat and roll it up. Place the roll seam side down in a 9″x 9″ casserole dish. Use a larger casserole for more thighs. The spinach mixture should be enough filling for six or seven thighs. Now bake them for about 50 minutes to one hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 180°.
Remove to a plate and allow these to rest for about ten minutes and serve with a little salad or some rice. Remember there are already two vegetables inside the chicken so they will also be good all by themselves.