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Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Parmesan Chicken Thighs

I think the inspiration for this originally came from Wolfgang Puck’s Cooking Class on Food TV some years ago, though it didn’t include a sauce. The recipe I remember was for stuffed chicken legs, though I can’t find the reference recipe on the Food Network site anywhere, so I may be mistaken as to the recipe.

No matter where the inspiration came from, I’m sure that I’ve deviated sufficiently from whatever the recipe was to call this a true Cooking by the seat of my Pants original. As a matter of fact, I changed gears at least three times during the preparation, adding a bit of this and eschewing that, so if this is in fact, based on any recipe by an award-winning chef, it has surely been bastardized enough that they would no longer recognize it.

It turned out to be simply incredible. Sumptuous, creamy, mushroom-and-garlicky goodness that fills the palette with multiple levels of wonderful flavors. I may have improvised at every turn, but apparently I did so in the right order, and with the right ingredients.

This is a multi-stage dish and is a bit more complicated than most of what I’ve presented here up until this point, even then it can still be made in a single pan if there’s enough time to lounge in the kitchen. (If you’re stressed for time, just make the sauce in a separate pan and you’ll be all set.)

Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Parmesan Chicken Thighs
Yield: 6 servings

Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Parmesan Chicken Thighs

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes



  • 1 8oz package pre-washed spinach (you can use frozen as well as a time-saver)
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to tastebr]


  • 1 package boneless skinless chicken thighs (roughly 7 thighs)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese. (I’m not a snob about Parm, but fresh is better, and would require a bit less)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Spinach and Mushroom stuffing from previous step

Creamed Spinach Sauce:

  • 1 8 0z. package spinach
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2/3 cup milk or half and half
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste



    1. Heat skillet over medium high heat. Melt butter. Sauté garlic until browned (be careful not to burn it!) Add mushrooms and sauté until caramelized. Add spinach in portions if necessary and cook until completely wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat and set aside.


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F
    2. Fold open thighs and place between to pieces of plastic wrap. (Or, if you’re like me an like life easy, just spread ‘em all out on one disposable flexible plastic cutting mat and sandwich between another, that way you can do it all at once.) Pound flat using a mallet, rolling pin or an empty wine bottle.
    3. *Note: We’re not looking for absolutely flat here, just flat enough to allow for some stuffing.
    4. Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Thighs - Stuffing
    5. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place two to three tablespoons of spinach stuffing down center of each thigh (where the bone was removed.)
    6. Wipe pan clean and return to heat.
    7. Roll thighs around filling and secure with a toothpick. Salt and pepper liberally.
    8. Brown chicken on all sides in olive oil over medium heat, Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, place in oven and cook through (about 15 minutes.) Remove from skillet and cover with foil to rest for at least 10 minutes.

    Creamed Spinach Sauce:

    1. Using same skillet that was used for chicken, sauté garlic and mushrooms until desired doneness is achieved. Stir in spinach and wilt thoroughly. Add milk, bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    2. Place chicken on a bed of rice or pasta, spoon sauce liberally over the top. Garnish with some additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 514mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 9gSugar: 3gProtein: 18g

    What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:

    It’s time for me to step forward and admit to something that I personally find a bit shameful, at least in the context of this blog. I actually made this meal and took most of the photos roughly a week ago. At the end of all of this, I realized that the photos of the finished product had been ruined by a bit of lint on the lens of my camera.

    I should have noticed this at the time, but I was too busy eating and didn’t see the unfortunate results until there was nothing left to shoot. My only recourse was to make it again. (Oh, No! Not that!), so I’ve had a teensy bit of experience with it.

    One thing to note, make sure that the side served with this dish is very low in acid. The first round I served with veggies in balsamic, which we both love on their own, but were horrible, horrible with the sauce. So on this round, I just gave in to the fact that there’s already enough veggies happening and went with plain rice, which is simple and complimented the chicken very well.

    Having made my admission, the next time I make this (and I will, Oh, yes, I will!) I’ll probably add almonds to the filling, and definitely add some Marsala to the sauce.

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