Are you brining your chicken breasts? If so, good for you. If not, I am going to highly encourage you to give it a shot next time you have some chicken breasts on hand. It’s such a simple step that makes your chicken unworldly tender and delicious.
Whether I’m brining a whole chicken or just the breast, I always start with a quarter cup of salt and four cups of water. To that, I add whatever flavor agents I want. For this recipe I used two tablespoons of brown sugar, a couple bay leaves, and a teaspoon of garlic powder. This base works well with pork chops and tenderloin, too.
Chicken breasts are great for brining because they just need 20 minutes in the brine to make a huge difference in flavor. While the chickens are in the brine, I make the filling for them by sautéing some mushrooms and spinach in a skillet. I add a little parmesan to the mixture to bring everything together.
I cut a slit in the chicken and fill them with the spinach mushroom mixture, a slice of muenster, and some roasted red peppers. The chicken get sealed with a couple toothpicks then brushed with olive oil and placed on the hot grill.
While the chicken’s rolling on the grill, I prep my asparagus and place it on the grill about the same time I flip my chicken.
This meal only looks like a lot of work, but everything comes together so quick making it perfect for a weeknight meal. If you don’t have a grill, you can certainly make this on a stove top using a large skillet.
One last note: I always, always use an instant read meat thermometer when working with chicken or any meat. I really wanted to make sure the internal temperature of these stuffed chicken breasts was 160 without over cooking or cutting it halfway through to check if it was pink. You can pick one up on the cheap, around 10 bucks. It’s made a huge difference in my cooking and I couldn’t imagine grilling without it.
Grilled Spinach Mushroom Stuffed Chicken with Asparagus
For the Brine (Optional, but highly encouraged)
- 1 Cup Hot Water
- 3 Cups Cold Water
- 1-2 Handfuls of Ice
- 1/4 Cup Kosher Salt
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
For the Stuffed Chicken
- About 20 Toothpicks, soaked in a bowl of water while the rest of the ingredients get prepped
- 3 Boneless Chicken Breasts
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Baby Portobello Mushrooms, sliced
- 3 Cups Spinach
- 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan
- 1/4 Cup Roasted Red Peppers
- 3 Slices Muenster Cheese
For the Asparagus
- 1 Bunch of Asparagus
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Pepper
If you plan on brining your chicken, get started by combining the salt, sugar, bay leaves, and garlic in a large bowl. Add the hot water and stir until the salt and sugar dissolves. Add the cold water and ice. Place your chicken in the bowl and make sure each piece is submerged. Allow to brine on the counter for 20-30 minutes. Remove the chicken and pat dry.
Heat the olive oil for the stuffed chicken in a large pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and toss to coat in olive oil. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes then season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to allow the mushrooms to cook down then add the spinach and stir while the spinach wilts down. Add the parmesan and set aside.
Using a paring knife, carefully make an incision in the side of your chicken and continue to cut until the chicken is almost halved. Spoon the spinach mushroom mixture inside and top with the roasted red pepper and cheese. Fold the chicken over and use toothpicks to seal the seam. Repeat this step for the rest of your chicken.
Heat the grill to medium. Drizzle your chicken with additional olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cover allowing to cook for 6-8 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 160.
While the chicken is grilling, toss your asparagus in a bag with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Shake to combine everything and place on the grill about the same time the chicken gets flipped. Allow to cook for 6-8 minutes until tender.
Remove everything from the grill, serve, and enjoy!