Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sausage & Fontina Stuffed Chicken with Tomato sauce and Spaghetti Squash

What a holiday season we had! We were able to see both sides of my family in Alabama, spend two days (including New Year's Eve!) in Atlanta, and be present for the birth of my best friend's first child. We had a great time with everyone, but we are definitely glad to be back home.

The recipe for the day is something I made up off the top of my head. So bear with me if the measurements aren't exact! We had some left over low-fat sausage in the freezer one day before we left, and I decided to use it up somehow! Plus, some friends of our had given us a large block of fontina cheese, so I threw that in there, too. In this recipe, I am going to give a measurement for more cheese than we used this time around. You couldn't taste the cheesy flavor as much as I wanted to. If you don't like the strong flavor of the fontina, you could use mozzarella, parmesan, or just leave the cheese out all together.

The tomato sauce is not one I would normally use for spaghetti. This is how Scott used to make his own sauce before we were married. I find it too thin to hold on to spaghetti, but it was a nice tomato item to go with the chicken, without being too heavy.

As far as the spaghetti squash, I pretty much just followed the directions on the side of the squash when I bought it. I know, that isn't exciting at all, but it was very tasty, and we will definitely be having it again! Hope you enjoy!

Sausage and Fontina Stuffed Chicken Breasts
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • about 1/2 lbs. of low-fat sausage (I chose a hot italian version)
  • about 4 oz. fontina cheese, grated or sliced thinly
  • salt & pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Pound chicken between plastic wrap with mallet, large wooden spoon or rolling pin (my favorite method!) to about 3/4 inch thickness.
3. Place 1/2 of grated cheese in the center of each breast.
4. Roll sausage into 2 balls and place one on each chicken breast on top of the fontina. Fold chicken around the ball, keeping in place with a toothpick if necessary.
5. Place chicken toothpick side down in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also put more cheese on top, if desired. Bake until done, 35-40 minutes.

Tomato Sauce
  • 1 or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • about 4 oz mushrooms
  • dry basil, oregano and parsley to taste (probably about 1/2 tsp each)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. In a sauce pan/pot, heat oil to medium heat. Saute onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms until soft, 3-5 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer on low until heated through and all other dishes are ready to eat.

Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 spaghetti squash
There are several ways to cook a spaghetti squash. First, decide if you want to cut the squash before cooking or after. It is much harder to cut through when it is uncooked, however, you don't have the burning-your-fingers factor if you chop it before cooking. Also, the squash can be prepared by baking, boiling, microwaving, or simmering in a crockpot. I chose to bake mine in the oven. Pierce the outside of the squash with a fork several times before putting on a baking sheet. It should cook about 1 hour at 350°.

Carb options
There are many things that would be delicious with this meal. Of course, garlic bread is always winner. But polenta could be a nice accompaniment to the thin tomato sauce as well. There are so many options, get creative!

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