Share and Enjoy
With all the Holiday happenings and being that I still have to make a living with insurance (Medicare renewal time of year is crazy), December was a whirlwind and I was just not able to add to the site. It’s not that I wasn’t cooking or taking photos; I just couldn’t find the time or the energy to sit down and finish a blog. I hope everyone had had a wonderful Christmas or whatever you celebrate that brings your family together and a safe and happy New Year. We spent ours with a flu ridden son vomiting through the night. Nothing like talking about vomit on a recipe site to inspire cooking-but hey, it’s life.
Yesterday I found myself trying to clean out the freezer; an ordeal I’d been putting off for too long, and found some chicken thighs and a breast that needed to be used up. Perfect for dinner; but what to make? A brief rummage through the fridge produced some proscuitto and fontina cheese and the creative juices started going. Stuffed chicken is always a crowd pleaser and let’s face it-chicken can always use some help with flavor. Even though I used breast and thighs for this recipe, as that’s what I had, breasts would probably be the easiest and most common for this. Enjoy!
I started by roasting a head of garlic. I cut the top off the head, placed it in a ramiken, drizzled it with a little olive oil, then covered it tightly with foil and roasted it in a 350 degree oven for 1 hr. I removed it and let it cool, then squeezed out the cloves from the skin.
While the garlic was roasting, I placed a red bell pepper on my grill over high heat until it was blackened all over, then covered in a bowl to steam for 15 minutes. When it was done, I removed the stem, seeds and skin.
In my blender I added the red bell pepper, 2 tablespoons diced sun dried tomatoes, 1 teaspoon chile paste, 1 teaspoon honey and a pinch of salt. I whirled them around and with the motor running drizzled in 1/4 cup of olive oil until combined then transferred the mix to a bowl.
I diced 1/2 a small onion and cooked them over medium heat in a little olive oil until softened and just starting to brown, about 6 minutes, then set aside.
Next I got started on the stuffing. I microwaved a 12 ounce package of cut spinach for 6 minutes then let in drain in a colander until cooled. I squeezed out the liquid with my hands and added the spinach to a mixing bowl. I mashed up the roasted garlic and added it to the bowl along with the cooked onion. I whirled 1 slice of sandwich bread in the food processor for about 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs and added them to the bowl. I stirred in 2 tablespoons of the reserved red bell/sun dried tomato paste along with 4 ounces of shredded fontina cheese until combined.
I removed the bones from 4 chicken thighs and 1 breast then fileted the breast into 3 cutlets. I think this chicken was a turkey in another life as it was the biggest breast I’d seen(on a chicken that is) in quite some time. If buying chicken, just use boneless chicken breasts and butterfly in two.
I seasoned them lightly with salt and pepper, then covered with a slice of proscuitto and spread some of the red pepper/sun dried tomato paste on top.
I spread a few spoonfuls of stuffing over the top. This makes enough stuffing for a few extra chicken breasts.
I dusted them with flour then added 1/4 cup olive oil to a wide fry pan and browned them in two batches on all sides over medium high heat for about 2 minutes/side.
This is what they looked like when browned.
I removed the chicken to a plate and poured off the grease from the pan. I added 1 cup of dry white wine to the pan over medium high heat to deglaze for 2 minutes and scraped up all the goodies from the pan. I added 3 cups chicken stock along with 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and 2 tablespoons chopped sage to the pan then put the chicken back in. I cover the pan and reduced the heat medium low and let them cook for 25 minutes.
After they cooked, I removed the chicken to a plate and reduced the liquid over medium heat by 1/2 then whisked in 1/2 cup cream and 2 tablespoons butter and simmered for about 5 more minutes until nicely thickened.
I added the chicken back to the pan and turned to coat. Since I was chasing daylight, I wasn’t able to get a plated picture. I served these with Easy Garlic Mashed Potatoes and sauteed green beans. Mmmm-Good Stuff! Enjoy!
- 1 red bell pepper, blackened then skin, stem and seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons diced sun dried tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon chile paste
- 1 teaspoon honey
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 head roasted garlic
- ½ small onion diced
- 12 oz package frozen spinach
- 1 slice white sandwich bread whirled into crumbs (1/3 cup)
- 2 tablespoons reserved red bell pepper paste
- 4 oz shredded fontina cheese (sub mozarella or jack)
- 2 large chicken breasts fileted into 6 cutlets and pounded thin
- salt and pepper
- 6 slices proscuitto
- red bell pepper paste
- flour for dusting
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- ½ cup cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Cut the top off a head of garlic and place in a small oven-proof bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil, then cover tightly with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Remove foil and let cool. Squeeze cloves from the skins and mash in a mixing bowl.
- For the red bell pepper paste, whirl together in a blender the red bell, sun dried tomatoes, chile paste, honey and salt. With the motor running drizzle in the olive oil until combined then set aside in a bowl.
- For the stuffing, saute the onion in a little olive oil over medium heat until starting to brown about 6 minutes then let cool and add to the bowl with the mashed garlic. Add the rest of the stuffing ingredients to the bowl and mix to combine.
- For the chicken rolls, season each cutlet with salt and pepper. Top each with a slice of proscuitto then spread a few spoonfuls of the red bell pepper paste over that. Spread a few spoonfuls of the stuffing on top then roll them up. Tie the ends with twine and secure the center edge with a toothpick. Dust them with flour. In a wide fry pan heat ¼ cup of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken in two batches browning on all side for about 2 mins/side then remove to a plate. Pour off the grease from the pan. Add the wine to deglaze the pan scraping up all the goodies and cook for about 3 mins. Add the chicken stock, parsley and sage then return the chicken to the pan. Cover and reduce heat to medium low and cook for 25 minutes.
- Remove chicken to a plate, increase the heat to medium high and reduce the liquid by ½. Whisk in the cream and butter and cook for 5 mins until nicely thickened. Add the chicken back in to coat. Remove the twine and toothpicks before plating.