Spicy Spanikopita Crispy Chicken with Cucumber Relish and Sticky Walnut Feta Crumble

  • Recipe courtesy of Leah Lyon, Finalist in the 2016 Nikos® "Wave of Flavor" recipe contest
  • Yield: 4-6 servings

    Ingredients

  • 1/3 c. walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
  • 4 ounces mediterranean feta, divided
  • 4 ounces peppercorn feta, divided
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 c. small English cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp. purple/red onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. all purpose Greek seasoning
  • 4 medium, well-trimmed boneless skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded
  • 5-6 oz fresh baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons Sambal (or Sriracha)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten with 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 c. vegetable oil

    Directions

  • In small bowl, mix walnuts, mint, and 1/4 cup each of the feta varieties. Drizzle with honey and mix with a fork, clumping together a bit. Reserve.
  • Mix the cucumber, red onion, vinegar, oil and seasoning. Reserve.
  • With sharp knife, cut a 2-3 inch slit in side of each piece of chicken and slice into center, fanning knife to create a pocket in each.
  • In medium bowl, mix remaining feta with spinach, zest, and sambal/sriracha.
  • Stuff the chicken breasts with the feta-spinach mixture, packing well.
  • Pin opening closed with wooden picks. Season chicken lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Season the flour with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dredge each breast in the flour and lightly shake off excess, then dip in the egg and let excess drip off, then dredge on both sides in the panko crumbs.
  • Divide the oil between 2 large saute pans and heat over medium high heat until shimmery. Add 2 stuffed chicken breasts to each pan and cook until chicken is golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to baking sheet and bake in 375 degree F oven until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese begins to ooze from opening, 8-10 minutes.
  • To serve, top each breast with the cucumber relish and the Sticky Walnut-Feta Crumble.