Chicken Rollatini (involtini, anglicized) stuffed with spinach and mozzarella, breaded, topped with a white wine-cream Primavera sauce. One frying pan. Plus one oven-safe dish. Plus one pot if you want to serve with some capellini like we did. Still, pretty good, right?
First, I chopped the garlic and prepared the spinach, the same way we did in the Chicken Saltimbocca recipe. I used about 2-3 cloves of garlic here, and chose the smaller, thinner ones. My friends would check my temperature if they heard me say this, but I didn’t think the spinach needed my usual overdose of garlic. That’s only because it would be a stuffing ingredient and there would be plenty of garlic in the sauce.
When the spinach had the color and consistency I was looking for (bearing in mind that it would cook further inside the involtini), I removed it from the pan and set it aside in rough involtini portions.
I prepped everything else–preheated the oven to 375, chopped the onion, shallots, and red pepper, ran outside and picked two nice sprigs of thyme, whisked the eggs in a bowl, spread flour, breadcrumbs, the shredded mozzarella, and the sautéed spinach on paper plates, set my chicken breasts next to my Pyrex glass dish, and was ready to roll (heh heh).
I couldn’t resist the urge to monster-stuff this chicken, so I’ll tell you up front, this wasn’t as much a roll job as it was a patch job, with heavy use of toothpicks. I didn’t pound the chicken, as it was already thin, but I did spread it and press it in order to pick up a few more square inches. If you have thick chicken breast, pound it until it’s 1/4 inch thick or less. You can slice it if you like, but the extra square-inchage you gain from pounding it out will help you at stuffing time (trust me), so I’d recommend you pound it. Also, remember where the toothpicks are.
I laid the cheese across the chicken breasts to within about 3/4″ of the edge, and laid the spinach to about 1/4″ of the edge of the cheese. Your parameters will depend on the shape and integrity (by integrity I mean, is it a cohesive slice of chicken breast, or does it have a split?) of your chicken. I had a couple of pieces with splits in them which meant they’d be leaky vessels. I left those on one side of the oven dish, and once cooked, those supplemented my huskies’ kibble, as did the leftover battering eggs, spinach, and a little of the cheese.
I rinsed the rolled chicken under cold water and coated with flour. I dipped them in egg and then coated with breadcrumbs.
Side note: this is probably a no-brainer, but make sure you tell people you touched the cheese with raw chicken hands. My girlfriend has a habit of walking into the kitchen and munching on ingredients unannounced, and she was already going for her second handful of shredded mozz by the time I could say “DON’T EAT THE CHEESE!” I assumed its being next to the eggs, flour, breading, and raw chicken would make her think twice. Alas, she didn’t. So it goes.
As I made sure to brag above, I used one frying pan for all of this. In what had been the spinach pan, I poured oil to about 1/4″ to 1/3″ depth and got it nice and hot. I took a deep breath and drew on the cutlet sensei‘s (now potentially sidelined with salmonella) advice. I did, however, use a little more oil than she recommends for cutlets, considering the thick sides of the involtini.
Once the oil was hot according to the water test, I placed the two involtini in the pan. I browned them for about 45 seconds per ‘side’, and, since they’re (theoretically) round, I estimated about three ‘sides’ given the amount of oil in the pan. I placed them back in the Pyrex dish and stuck them in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
I poured out most of the oil, leaving enough to coat the pan, and slid the red pepper, onion, and shallot into the pan. I added salt and pepper and sautéed that until the onion was translucent, at which point I added the rest of the garlic.
I sautéed that for another five minutes or so, and then added the white wine, sundried tomatoes, and capers. I deglazed the pan by scraping it well with my wooden spoon. I also dropped in about a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. I reduced this sauce for about 15 minutes (you may, like I did, have to turn off the oven while you’re still prepping the sauce).
Next, I added the heavy whipping cream, stirred well, and seasoned again with salt and pepper. I reduced for a few more minutes, lowered the flame to the minimum, and placed the thyme sprigs on top. I put a lid on the sauce.
At this point I prepared the capellini. This was our chosen side–it held the sauce and tasted great. You could cut the carbs and swap in a vegetable (it seems to me that broccoli or cauliflower would be excellent as the crowns would hold sauce), or you could go with a potato side.
Here are some pictures of the final plate. This was totally thrown together, but became one of my favorite meals and we will be making it again.
(UPDATE: she lucked out and did not get sick from the raw chicken cheese.)
- 2 thin chicken breast
- 1/2 cup (unpacked) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4-5 oz fresh spinach
- 3 small shallots
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 8-10 cloves of garlic
- 2oz sundried tomatoes
- capers (to taste)
- 3-4 eggs
- flour, enough to coat
- breadcrumbs, enough to coat
- 1 cup white wine (I used a cheap cooking Chablis)
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream