Rolled Chicken with proscuitto and spinach stuffing

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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 rolled them up and tied off both ends with some twine then seealed the center edge with a toothpick.

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!

Rolled Chicken with proscuitto and spinach stuffing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These savory chicken rolls burst with flavor. Stuffed with proscuitto, spinach, cheese and a red bell pepper paste then coated in a creamy wine reduction, they're a crowd pleaser and elegant enough for a dinner party.
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
Red Bell Pepper Paste
  • 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
Stuffing
  • 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)
Chicken rolls
  • 2 large chicken breasts fileted into 6 cutlets and pounded thin
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 slices proscuitto
  • red bell pepper paste
  • stuffing
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

 

 

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