Hasselback Chicken with Spinach, Bacon, and Cheddar
and Brussels sprouts
Hasselback potatoes (potatoes sliced almost all the way through to the base and then fanned out) have had their moment, but we think chicken breast deserves the same treatment. Stuff the chicken with spinach and cheddar, and don't worry if it doesn't look perfect - it will still be delicious!
Smarts: We liked the bacon crumbled over the chicken in the finished dish, but baking it on top of the Brussels sprouts adds savory flavor to both elements of the dish.
- Frozen chopped spinach - 8 oz , defrosted and drained of as much liquid as possible
- Cheese, cheddar - 4 oz , shredded (look for pre-shredded to save time; extra sharp cheddar is great here)
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 4 (look for small to medium-sized since you’ll need 1 / serving; if quite large, plan to split each one between two people)
- Parchment paper or foil - for baking
- Bacon - 8 strips
- Brussels sprouts - 1 lb , halved
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Vinegar, balsamic - 2 tsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Spinach - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Remove from bag and thaw in microwave or place bag in a bowl of warm water. Once thawed, drain out as much liquid as possible using a colander.
Cheese / Garlic / Brussels Sprouts - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Prep filling - Combine spinach, cheese, garlic, and salt. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Prep chicken - Working with one chicken breast at a time, cut 6 slits through each piece of chicken, making sure not to slice all the way through. Season the chicken with some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Fill chicken - Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. (If using foil, spray it with some nonstick cooking spray or brush with some oil.) Arrange chicken on sheet pan. Fill slits in chicken with spinach mixture (it’s okay if some spills out over the top). (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Heat oven to 425F / 218C. Place one oven rack in the lower third and one oven rack in the upper third of the oven.
Place pan with chicken in the upper rack and bake until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 20 to 22 minutes.
Once chicken is in the oven, toss Brussels sprouts with oil, vinegar, mustard, and some salt and pepper. Spread out on a second sheet pan. Stretch bacon strips out in a single layer over the Brussel sprouts.
Transfer Brussels sprouts to the oven and roast, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes (depending on size). Keep an eye on the bacon and remove it whenever it’s crispy (it may finish before the Brussels sprouts).
Toss Brussels sprouts with lemon juice.
Crumble bacon over the chicken. Serve chicken with Brussels sprouts on the side. Enjoy!