Food

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells

I love to cook. But I almost never cook for my Hubby.  He’s a little on the picky side, a little on the carnivorous side and I am a little on the health nut, veggie lover side.  It’s so uber challenging living with someone that doesn’t have the same palate as you. What was he thinking marrying a nice German girl who loves her some sauerkraut, pickles and mustard (not necessarily at the same time) when he runs screaming from any of them! I love experimenting with fermenting foods and he’s terrified of it.  Seriously though, who hates pickles and mustard? They are two of my FAVORITE FOODS!

I have a few go-to comfort foods that I cook (neither extraordinarily healthy nor vegan) for him every so often. His favorite being my chicken and spinach stuffed shells.  I cooked them the other night and posted a picture to facebook. I had quite a few people ask me for the recipe.  The trouble is, I almost never cook with recipe (unless I am baking).  I feel my way through from the 14 years of experience I had waiting tables and from growing up watching the women in my life cook and my obsession with the food network.  Now I am going to feel my way through writing a recipe for my stuffed shells!

One thing I know is weird about my stuffed shell recipe is that I don’t use milk or egg in the filling. I personally don’t think it needs it.  You’ll also know that I haven’t really added quantities…umm I don’t pay attention to that stuff. I measure by sight and handfuls.

Ingredients:

  •  Shells – the big ones (2/3 of a box will fill a 9×13 pan and will feed 2 people about 3-4 times).
  • Organic chicken breast (2-3)
  • Part skim ricotta cheese
  • Part skim shredded mozzarella
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • Your favorite (or homemade) tomato sauce
  • Garlic
  • Your favorite Italian herbs and spices: salt, pepper, oregano, basil, parsley
Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Shells

Pre-Game + Game Time

  • Bring a large pot of water (for the shells) to a boil (add EVOO + salt) – cook to aldente  (not to squishy or they will get super soggy and mushy when you bake them) I rinse with cold water and set aside.  Most chef’s say not to do this.
  • slice or cube (raw) chicken
  • Rinse the fresh spinach. (2-3 over flowing fist-fulls)
  • Saute the chicken with a little EVOO and lots of garlic (fresh, minced) add salt, pepper, and any dried herbs you like to taste.  Set aside when cooked through.
  • Saute spinach until wilted in a little EVOO and garlic – add salt + pepper to taste.
  • In a large bowl, mix ricotta (medium sized container) warm spinach and 1/2 a bag of shredded mozzarella. Add salt, pepper, your favorite herbs to taste.
  • In a large (9×13) glass pan, dump about half a jar of the sauce – spread around.
  • begin stuffing shells with the spinach-ricotta mixture – I use my hands. It’s easier. They’re slippery little suckers.
  • Line the shells in the sauced pan in an orderly fashion!
  • Sneak in the sauteed chicken in between the shells.
  • Top with the rest of the jar of sauce.
  • Cover with mozzarella cheese to taste. (some like more, some like lots)
  • Add some fresh herbs to the top (last time around i just used parsley)
  • Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes until bubbley and melty.

ENJOY!

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