Friday, November 13, 2009

Italian Chicken Rolls

Well, the other day I was looking for a way to do something different with chicken. I was flipping through some recipe books and checked the index on a book my aunt gave me called "Too Many Cooks" (more on that in another post) and found a few ideas, but nothing that fit the ingredients in my kitchen. So, what else is there to do but improvise? I looked in my fridge and saw that I had some spaghetti sauce, black olives, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Those all taste good together, right? And this is how I came up with my Italian Chicken Rolls...perhaps I need to work on the name, we'll see!

The first step was to flatten the chicken, one of my favorite things to do. First, it allows you to feed more mouths with less food...a great money saving tip! Secondly, it tenderizes the meat and allows more of the surrounding flavors to come in contact with the meat. Last, it allows for more even cooking. So, whenever I can, I flatten the chicken, especialy when I'm marinating.

It's also a great way to release tension or frustration...just put the chicken pieces on some wax paper or plastic wrap, cover the top with the same, and start pounding! Be sure to use a non-wood cutting board underneath! At this point I seasoned with salt, pepper, dried basil, and dried oregano.

Next, I smothered the chicken pieces with a jarred spaghetti sauce, some sliced black olives, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Then I rolled it up, secured each piece with two toothpicks that had soaked in water, drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled on some Italian bread crumbs. I had no idea what I was doing and I was sure they were going to fall apart during cooking because much of the stuffing was coming out the sides. I thought I may have overdone it a little!
But, they turned out great and they were delicious. Well, at least I thought so! The kids didn't care for them until the second night, when Molly devoured hers!

Italian Chicken Rolls

boneless skinless chicken breasts, flattened

salt, pepper, basil, oregano (however much you like)

spaghetti sauce

sliced black olives

shredded mozzarella cheese

olive oil

bread crumbs

Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes...use your best judgement :-) Pull from the oven and cover with foil to let them rest a few minutes.

As you can see, there isn't really a recipe, just a list of ingredients. I'm learning to cook this way because it's easier and allows for more creativity!

Next time, I might go a little Krazy with the ingredients and do something like apricot preserves and a sprig of fresh rosemary from the garden!

1 comment:

Allyson said...

Yummy! Brian is always looking for new and *quick* recipes to make on week nights. I will definitely pass this one along... we might need to borrow your meat tenderizer. That's probably the only gadget that we do not own!