Sunday, December 2, 2012

Another chicken roll-up recipe

Last year, we posted a recipe worthy of date night: Chicken Stuffed with Fontina Cheese and Prosciutto. This a very different dish but the concept is the same. It's a bit of work (just a little bit) to pound out and roll up the chicken breasts, but the final dish is impressive. It's pretty economical too, but no one needs to know.

We have noticed that chicken breasts have grown quite a bit. We routinely see breast halves nearing a pound in weight. If you find that all the breast halves in your local supermarket are large, cut them in half horizontally, then pound them flat. Don't have meat pounder? Any glass bottle with a long neck, like a wine bottle, works too.

Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and Feta Cheese
(serves 4, cost is $10)

3 ½ Tablespoons Olive Oil
¼ medium Onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces Frozen Spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
½ teaspoon Dried Oregano or Dried Dill
¾ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Black Pepper
½ cup Crumbled Feta Cheese, about 2 ounces
4 Chicken Breast Halves, about 5-6 ounces each
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
12 Toothpicks

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook onion for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, spinach and oregano (or dill) and cook for another 3 minutes Season with ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pour into a medium bowl and add the feta cheese and stir to mix well. Wipe out the skillet but no need to wash; you'll use it again to brown the chicken.

Lay the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat pounder or wine bottle until a uniform ½" thick. Season both sides of each breast with remaining salt and pepper.

Place a breast on a cutting board and place ¼ of the stuffing on the chicken breast. Spread it out towards the edges, but not all the way to the edge so the filling doesn't leak out. Roll up chicken breast the long way and secure with toothpicks so that the chicken stays rolled up. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

Heat up 2 Tablespoons oil in the skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the chicken. Cook until golden brown on all sides (or as many sides as you can given there are toothpicks sticking out). Toss the tomatoes with ½ Tablespoon oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour into a 8 x 8" baking dish. Arrange chicken on top of tomatoes in a single layer. Bake for 35 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Let stand for 5 minutes and remove the toothpicks. Serve by placing a chicken roll-up on the plate and spooning tomatoes and juices over chicken. For a pretty presentation, slice the roll crosswise with a very sharp knife and arrange slices on the plate. Spoon tomatoes and juices on top of slices.

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