Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Four Cheese Chicken

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch as our family of 6 tries to eat on $6/day (or at least make it into the $6 range).

I bet you're ready for an entree, aren't you? Fortunately, Kip's got your back. For Father's Day we did not only eat chocolate chip cookies (not that there's anything wrong with that). We also had meat (and, heck, some other stuff too).

Four cheese chicken is a family recipe. Kip says that my mom made the first time he ate at her house. Apparently, she wanted to get me married off. Kip still requests it often for his birthday or other special occasions.

And despite the fancy instructions, it's pretty easy to put together too.

Four Cheese Chicken
Serves 4-6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
Cost: $8.55
(chicken--5.00, although you can half it and just have lots of stuffing, which is what we did, cottage cheese: 1.00, mozz. cheese: .45, cheddar cheese: 1.00, Parm cheese: .20, spinach: .75, milk: .08, butter: .07)

4 chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise (so they're flatter)
8 oz. cottage cheese
4 oz. grated mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil (or another vegetable oil)
1 Tbsp butter (use only if you don't have many drippings from chicken)
1/2 Tbsp flour
1/2 C milk
4 oz. grated cheddar cheese
1/2-1 lb spinach (I use frozen that is thawed and drained, although fresh would work too if you wilt it first)
salt and pepper to taste

First cut your breasts in half length-wise. This means you're cutting them so they're just as long, but they're thinner. You can pound them even flatter if you wish, but I never do.

In bowl, combine cottage cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan.

Lay breasts out flat and plop a generous plop of cheese mixture on each one, then spread it out just a bit. Add a generous plop of spinach on each and spread it out just a bit. Roll these up and close them by sealing them shut with a toothpick. They'll be a little chubby and oozy--that's okay.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook each rolled up chicken breast until brown on both sides (4-6 minutes per side).

They'll look kind of like this, only hopefully in more flattering light (I used half the number of breasts because that's all we had):

Take them out of the skillet and put them in a 9x13 inch pan. Heat oven to 400. (You can throw the breasts in to let them get a head start in the oven and to keep them warm--I usually do this, but you don't have to.)

If you've got drippings from the chicken, use those. Otherwise, add 1 Tbsp butter to skillet. Add flour and whisk it in (you'll likely have some chunky chicken-y stuff coming up from the bottom of the pan--that's great).  Add milk and whisk in. Let mixture thicken for a minute or two. Add cheddar cheese and melt into white sauce.

Pour cheddar sauce over chicken breasts and put in oven.

Note: I always have some extra filling stuff. I just throw it into a corner of my pan and pour some sauce over it too. It's always super good.

Cook for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

We serve ours over rice, but potatoes or pasta would probably do nicely too.



  1. Oh boy does that ever look good. I'd gladly eat a plateful of that.

  2. Mmmm, my favorite! And I haven't had it for so long! I like it best with homemade rolls!

  3. Mmmm with rolls. Now that would have been a Father's Day to remember. Let's not tell Kip he was missing out.



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