Well…virtually anything you can imagine, that, quite literally, fits. That being said, not everything that can go inside a stuffed chicken should go inside a stuffed chicken. You know, things like a monkey wrench, $20, a bag of Skittles, a handful of dead AAA batteries, your iPhone…or even another, smaller chicken.
Ok, Ok, Ok… You likely came here looking for real answers and inspiration.
We’re here to help! Without further ado, this is our beginner’s guide to stuffed chicken.
Why stuffed chicken? It’s a versatile recipe that can be customized to virtually anyone’s tastes or preferences (as long as you eat chicken, of course). Rather than just providing a long list of specific recipes, though, we’re going to take a slightly different approach, one meant to be a little less intimidating than throwing instructions at you and saying “Go!”
Instead, we’ll help you figure out what’s going to be your best stuffed chicken experience. So, first things first—would you rather stuff a whole chicken, or individual chicken breasts? Depending on your choice, we’ll provide a few useful recommendations.
Do You Want to Stuff a Whole Chicken, or Just Chicken Breasts?
This distinction has very little to do with flavors—rather, it will impact how you stuff the chicken, and how you cook it once it’s prepped.
Cook Coaching: This is a great place to point out the vital importance of cooking chicken properly. There’s no universal answer for how long to cook a whole stuffed chicken or how long to bake stuffed chicken breast. When in doubt, use a meat thermometer and cook to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Can I Stuff in a Whole Chicken?
Stuffing a whole chicken usually involves making some sort of stuffing (like Thanksgiving or Stove Top stuffing), putting it into the bird’s cavity, and cooking it to a safe temperature. As far as what goes into that stuffing, well, it varies. A savory bread dressing is a pretty common go-to for some of the best whole stuffed chicken recipes, using easy to find, affordable ingredients like: breadcrumbs, butter, egg, onion, celery, thyme, parsley, milk, salt, and pepper.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, or are craving something gravy-based, you can make a simple gravy by combining some of the chicken drippings, some additional chicken stock, and a bit of flour. Pour it on!
What Can I Stuff a Chicken Breast With?
Chicken breasts can be stuffed with any number of things, meaning you can keep it as simple as you want or try something a little fancier. Even just a quick search of the web will give you a sense of just how many different ways people are stuffing their chicken breasts.
One of the most common stuffed chicken breast approaches involves cheese and spinach, with top-rated recipes including:
- Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Stuffed Chicken Breast with Spinach, Cheese, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Anyway, you get the point. You can’t go wrong with spinach and cheese! What, you don’t like spinach and/or cheese? Don’t fret—there are dozens, if not hundreds, of unique takes on the humble stuffed chicken breast. Maybe you’re more into the flavors of tomato and basil, garlic and lemon, or even cherries and prosciutto.
Get Creative (You Got This!)
Finally, let’s explore a few different variations of what we’ll consider the classic stuffed chicken recipes (those we’ve discussed so far).
- Seasonal variations: The whole-chicken recipe we shared earlier is well-tuned to fall flavors—hence the similarities to Thanksgiving stuffing. If you want to turn up the fall/winter flavors, you might be inspired by this Fall Harvest Stuffed Chicken Breast, which incorporates things like apples and cranberries. Ready for summer? Flavors like feta cheese, roma tomatoes, herbs, and lemon zest come together in this Summer Stuffed Chicken Breast recipe.
- Healthy variations: While they don’t exactly spell out what they consider “healthy,” Eat This, Not That has compiled 30 Healthy Stuffed Chicken Recipes to Make Tonight—and many of them sound beyond awesome.
- Regional variations: As you’ve probably gathered by now, chicken is a versatile template for a wide range of flavors. Here’s a fun challenge: next time you’re at the market, pay special attention in the produce section. What’s in season? What smells or looks particularly great? Try incorporating it in your stuffed chicken for a more localized take. Or, you can go in the opposite direction for inspiration, by widening your focus from local to global. In putting this guide together, this Taiwanese Crispy Shrimp-Stuffed Chicken recipe seemed especially intriguing, for example.
- Level of difficulty: Especially if you’re not a daily chef, it’s important to find recipes that match your skill level reasonably well. Whether that means searching specifically for easy stuffed chicken breast recipes with few ingredients, fancy stuffed chicken breast recipes, or something in between, you won’t have to search long to find what you’re looking for.
Yes, You Can! With Recipe Self, You’re the Chef
Recipe Self isn’t your average recipe website. Our goal is to empower anyone, anywhere, to take risks and learn to cook the kinds of meals they’d pay good money for without batting an eye. We’ve built a platform where amateurs can come together, share recipes, and learn to cook. We’ll leave you with this, our recipe for making Ruth Chris Stuffed Chicken that tastes just like what you’d order from the restaurant.