When it comes to stuffed chicken breast, the sky’s the limit. And with my chicken breast stuffed with crab imperial and spinach, you’re reaching for the stars!
My restaurant days were some of my happiest days, creating incredible dishes, having all eyes on me as I walked across the dining room, and the sheer joy on people’s faces as they enjoyed their meals! One of the more challenging parts of my job running the restaurant was deciding what my specials would be, what would I create to satisfy and amaze my guests. It was always easy to come up with show stoppers when using pricier ingredients, but not everyone that came in was looking for that high ticket entree, they were there to enjoy a good meal without breaking the bank.
For those recipes I turned to chicken, it helped keep the cost down and allowed me to use some higher-priced ingredients as well, blending flavors to make the dish enticing and delicious! I think the fact that I didn’t eat red meat helped me create some really good chicken dishes, and one that I’m going to share with you was always a favorite.
Chicken breasts don’t require a lot of prep, but one thing you do want to consider when working with chicken breasts is that they do need to be pounded out a bit.
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Chef Dennis Tip:
Cover the chicken breasts with plastic wrap before pounding them. It keeps bits of chicken from flying around the room and makes the process easier.
Being a chef I always have a meat hammer to work with, but I have been at other people’s homes that didn’t have a specific meat hammer and sometimes you need to be creative. Of course, a regular hammer will do, just remember to wrap it in foil or plastic wrap first and use the side of the hammer, not the head. You can also use a small frying pan and give it a few whacks to flatten it out.
I would, of course, suggest adding a small meat hammer to your kitchen if you don’t already have one, you’re going to use it and it will make your life easier! When pounding out chicken breasts, you do want to use the flat part of any meat hammer, not the ridged sides, the other side is reserved for beef or pork, meats that can use some help in tenderizing. It’s also a good idea to place a layer of plastic wrap under the chicken and one over top of the chicken before pounding.
This will actually help in the flattening process, and keep little bits of chicken from embedding themselves throughout your kitchen! While pounding the chicken don’t strike straight down, you want to almost push the meat towards the outer edges while you pound. We want the breast intact and this is the best way gain size without breaking apart the breast.
This is the meat hammer I recommend if you want to work like a chef and get a little medieval with your meats -> Westmark (Robusto-Spezial) Meat Hammer.
I stuffed this chicken breast with a crab imperial mix with some fresh spinach added in, and in Lisa would eat roasted red peppers you would have seen them in the mix as well. People eat with their eyes, so think festive and use colorful foods to add a little extra visual pizzazz to your dishes. If crab meat isn’t in your budget or just isn’t something you enjoy eating, you can always stuff your chicken breast with any of your favorites. Sausage, cheese, spinach and apples, would make a great stuffing especially for this time of the year, or if you would like to keep it simple how about a nice bread stuffing with mushrooms! The dish is yours be creative.
If crab meat isn’t in your budget or just isn’t something you enjoy eating, you can always stuff your chicken breast with any of your favorites. Sausage, cheese, spinach and apples, would make a great stuffing especially for this time of the year, or if you would like to keep it simple how about a nice bread stuffing with mushrooms! The dish is yours be creative.
I had intended to make a Dijon cream sauce for this dish, but had no Dijon on hand and just didn’t have the time to run to the store, so I made a Horseradish Lemon cream sauce, have fun with the sauce and use what you have on hand. When I developed recipes in my restaurants, I would use what I had on hand and just combine flavors that went well together, just don’t be afraid to experiment!
If you enjoyed this recipe you may also like these:
- Crab Imperial
- Flounder stuffed with Crab Imperial
- Lobster Stuffed with Crab Imperial
- Shrimp and Mushrooms Stuffed with Crab Imperial
- Salmon Stuffed with Crabmeat and Cream Cheese
Omg!! Absolutely delicious!! Thank U Chef Dennis!! I used the Creamy Horseradish sauce & to my surprise, that too, was delicious!! I was concerned because horseradish has a strong taste. I’m going to try the Dijon sauce next time. I look forward to trying some of your other recipes in the future!!
Chef Dennis Littley
thank you for the great review and comment, Nicole. I hope you more delicious recipes to try!
I just ran across your recipe and would like to make it for guests. Is it possible to do a good portion of the recipe the day before –even baking the chicken breast- or must it all be done the day of.
Chef Dennis Littley
you can prepare the recipe up to the part where you wrap it in puff dough, the day before and finish the cooking process before your party. That’s how we use to do it at the restaurant, otherwise it would have taken too long.
I served this recipe for my Mother’s Day main dish, along with asparagus spears. It was a hit! My chicken breasts were very large, so I ended up butterflying them into two halves and then pounding each half thin. Worked like a charm. The crab stuffing turned out perfectly, and the chicken was meltingly tender and moist. I don’t like horseradish, so I went with your original idea of a dijon cream sauce and substituted 1 tbsp grey poupon for the horseradish, which was a great choice. Sauce was delicious, and went equally well over the asparagus as over the chicken. Simply outstanding. This one takes a little time to get all the steps right, but my mom was astonished at the results, so it was very worth it. Adding this one to my recipe file for special occasions! Thanks, chef!
Chef Dennis Littley
Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment Anna, and I’m very happy to hear that everyone enjoyed the stuffed chicken breast! Anytime we can make our moms happy its a good day!
It was a hit!!! Chicken was a lil dry inside but more than likely due to me cooking longer prior to wrapping the pastry shell…
Chef Dennis Littley
thanks so much for letting me know that the chicken did turn out, even though it was a little dry. You don’t want to cook the chicken all the way through,so maybe next time give it a little less time in the oven before wrapping it, as it will finish cooking in the oven.
I’m prepping this right now for my Sunday dinner!!!! I added the roasted red peppers and am anxious to see how it turns out!!!! Stay tuned!!!!
Chef Dennis Littley
I hope everyone enjoys it, Emily!
Question for you.. My chicken breasts were odd shaped after pounding them out so making a ball was pretty impossible… I did the best I could and they are baking now.. Never used a puffed pastry before so I’m assuming that I can save the day with the pastry wrap… (Yikes) btw… Taking a lot longer than 20 mins for chicken to cook.. Should they be thoroughly cooked prior to wrapping the shell?? Thanks So Much!!
Very interested in using this dish for my husbands 80th birthday, have people coming who are allergic to fish and pork so I will use a selection of veggies instead, do you think the chicken could be wrapped in Filo pastry instead of puff pastry. ?
Chef Dennis Littley
yes it can Lynda, Filo will work well with the dish.
This sounds delicious, gonna try it…just wonder if the imperial source is only for crabmeat stuffing..I plan to use sausage and spinach…thanks.
the imperial sauce is the binder, I use it for making chicken or turkey croquettes as well! Let me know how it turns out!
I think it’ll be quite liberating to go pound pound with that hammer…I may never want to stop! You’ve had quite some cream in your life and on your chicken too! It’s truly sensual! kudos!
This looks so awesome! The sausage, cheese, spinach & apple filling sounds great too!
Barefeet In The Kitchen
I love these restaurant kitchen posts. This looks wonderful and I would have happily ordered it. Have you ever made your own pastry sheets? That’s something I’d like to try, but I haven’t found any great recipes for it yet.
not having been a trained baker, I have not made my own sheets, although I did find an interesting recipe for pastry dough I may be trying soon, so I can teach it too my girls! I’m glad you enjoyed my post!
I made this last night and it was the best stuffed chicken I’ve ever made. Subbed a sausage apple stuffing as recommended, similar to this one http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,221,158183-232200,00.html. I was so excited that I forgot to make the sauce while it was baking and by the time I pulled it out of the oven and my supper guests got a peek at it they refused to wait for me to whip it up. This recipe is not hard to make but it takes a little time, perfect for a rainy day. Thanks!
so glad that you made it and it was a success! thanks so much for letting me know, you just made my day!
Oh my goodness. This looks insanely delicious. I have to admit, I never order chicken out because I hate how often it becomes bland – if they were serving anything like this I would have to try it!
P.S. I like your “Miracle On 34th Street” motto, too!
What everybody else said 🙂 — plus, I love the way you write. Such a pleasure to read!
Love the lemon horseradish idea!!!!!
Really like the sauce Chef!
Congrats on T-9!
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
Gorgeous Chicken! Congrats on the top 9! My husband would absolutely love this – crab and chicken together!
Congrats on Foodbuzz top 9!
Kim - Liv Life
Congrats on the Top 9, Dennis!! I forgot to mention that earlier. I LOVE this sort of chicken recipe, and while I don’t really like to pound my chicken (my girlfriend got me a pounder, but I hardly use it) I just might do it for this one. Love it!