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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chicken Roll-Ups: Recipe

The other day the kids came into the kitchen with the strangest look on their faces - they came to investigate the crazy banging noise emanating from the room. I was pounding thin a package of chicken breasts (and had already pounded thin a package of pork chops)! So clearly there was cause for concern - I was beating up food.

It was a funny scene, really. I had one plastic zip bag filled with paper thin - very large - chicken cutlets and one cutlet in another plastic zip bag getting the stuffing beat out of it. The kids thought I had lost my mind - but I thought it was quite fun!

The importance of the pounding process is two fold - the first reason to do it is to create a larger piece of meat so you can easily place more stuff inside it! The second reason to pound the meat thin is to allow the roll-up to cook faster and more evenly.

I love chicken cordon bleu - so this is a knock off of that and I tried to make it a bit healthier by not frying it, which I have done before with much success.

Chicken Roll-Up with Spinach, Swiss and Prosciutto
2 pounds chicken breasts (about 5 breasts)
10 small slices, Swiss cheese
5 large slices, Prosciutto
3 cups fresh spinach, loosely packed
Salt, pepper
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1/4 cup low fat mayo
1/8 cup Dijon mustard
Trussing string or wooden toothpicks soaked in water for 30 minutes

Place one breast in a large zip bag or between two sheets of parchment paper and pound thin with a kitchen mallet - so meat is about 1/2 inch thick and 6-8 inches in diameter. Repeat for all breasts.

Next, assemble each one by placing 2 slices of cheese side by side in the middle of the cutlet and placing the prosciutto on top of the cheese and topping with a handful of spinach. Next carefully roll up each piece of chicken and secure it with either toothpicks or by tying it up tightly with string.

This process can be done 12 hours in advance but make sure to cover and refrigerate on a foil lined baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 450. Sprinkle the roll-ups with salt, pepper and thyme. Mix together in a bowl the mayo and the mustard until smooth. Place the chicken into the oven and cook for 40-45 minutes, basting with mayo-mustard mixture at two different intervals. Chicken should be browned on top.

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