Stuffed Chicken with Marsala Cream Sauce

More and more, as of late, I am very disappointed in myself and my less-than-stellar photography skills.  I try so hard -- no flash, solid background, white plate, yadda-yadda... it's so frustrating.  I truly believe food is one of the hardest things to capture.  I wish I weren't poor, I would take some classes. However, for now, you will have to imagine how good the food is while looking at a mediocre photo.  This time, it shouldn't be that hard -- I think this recipe really brought me out of my cooking slump.  I feel like lately, I have been making food, and it's just not turning out.  However, this time... I believe I got it right!  Introducing: Stuffed Chicken Breast with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Fontina in a Marsala Cream Sauce!  The dish could have been a bit more aesthetically pleasing, but really, if you aren't in a restaurant (where I do believe presentation effects the dish as a whole) when it tastes good, who cares how it looks?

What You'll Need:
2.5 lb. thick boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 breasts)
4 tbsp. EVOO - divided
1 small vidalia onion
2 tbsp. minced garlic
4 oz. diced mushrooms
8 oz. fresh spinach leaves
8 oz. Fontina cheese - divided
2 tbsp. cream cheese
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain
1/4 cup Marsala wine
Salt, Pepper, Paprika

1. Start by cleaning the chicken breasts.  Using a sharp paring knife, slice a large hole in the top of the breast to make a pocket, careful to not poke through the bottom.  Using two fingers, stretch the pocket of the chicken, to make it easier to stuff.  Season with salt, pepper, and paprika and set aside.

2. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with 2 tbsp. of EVOO.  Add diced onions, chopped mushrooms (I started with sliced mushrooms, then chopped them into small cubes), and garlic.  Cook for about 10 minutes on medium-high heat, until the ingredients become very soft.  Add the spinach leaves and cook down until wilted.  Remove HALF of the mixture from heat and let it cool, so you can handle it with your fingers.  The other half can go in an bowl, put to the side, to be used for later.

3. Using 6 ounces of the Fontina cheese, cut into three 2-oz. slices, and divide among the chicken, stuffing the pieces into the pockets of the breasts. I find using my hands is easiest, but however you feel is best, stuff the chicken with the cooled spinach mix.  Coat the bottom of a pan with the other 2 tbsp. of EVOO, and when the pan is hot, hot, hot, insert chicken, thicker side down.  Cook for 10 minutes, searing it 5 minutes on each side.  Remove chicken from pan and put it in a baking dish.  Let it finish cooking in a 450-degree oven, for another 25 minutes, or until juices run clear.

4. While the chicken is in the oven, finish the cream sauce.  Deglaze the pan (in which you cooked the chicken) with the Marsala wine, and whisk the cream cheese and Greek yogurt in.  Put the reserved spinach mixture into the pan, and cook on low for 7 minutes, until it reduces to a nice cream sauce.  When the chicken is done, spoon sauce over chicken and enjoy!


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