Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 18: Spinach and Goat Cheese Chicken Rolls in a Pan Sauce

4 6-ounce chicken breast halves
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or goat cheese with herbs, or crumbled Boursin (garlic and herb cow's-milk cheese)
   Zest and juice of 1 lemon
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
   All-purpose flour, for dredging, plus 1 tablespoon
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons diced roasted red peppers

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Sprinkle a little water in food storage bags. Place 1 chicken breast in each bag, and seal it up, pushing out excess air. Using a mallet or a small, heavy pot or pan, pound each breast until flat and just shy of busting out of the bag.

Wring the spinach dry in a kitchen towel. Separate it and add it to a bowl. Add the goat cheese and the lemon zest, season with salt and pepper, and mix until combined.

Lay the 4 pounded chicken breasts out on a cutting board. Season them with salt and pepper. Place one fourth of the spinach-goat cheese filling on each breast, along one long edge of the cutlet. Roll the chicken breast to enclose the filling, creating a cigar shape, and secure with toothpicks. Season the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper and then dredge in the sesame seeds and flour.

Preheat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of the EVOO. Shake the excess flour from the chicken and then add to the hot skillet and saute on all sides for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown all over.

Transfer to a rimmed cookie sheet and place in the oven to finish cooking through, another 5 to 7 minutes, until the juices run clear.

Place the skillet back over medium-high heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of EVOO, and add the garlic, onions, thyme, red pepper flakes, and some salt. Cook for about 3 minutes, then sprinkle the mixture with 1 tablespoon flour and continue to cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock and thicken the sauce, 3 to 4 minutes. Finish the sauce with the lemon juice, the parsley, and the diced roasted peppers.

Ladle some sauce onto each dinner plate. Slice the chicken rolls on an angle, and serve atop the sauce.


RR says: "Serve with buttered and parslied orzo or small potatoes or with lots of crusty bread." Since I had desert today (pumpkin cake), I didn't want to add any carbs to this meal. Her tidbit is: "Use this method of pounding chicken portions in plastic storage bags to store the meat as well. You can transfer the food bags to the freezer and have single-portion servings of chicken cutlets for quick defrosting, anytime. It's a great way to take full advantage of a terrific sale on chicken." I didn't change anything except that she didn't specify what to do with the garlic, so I just added to chop it. I only used 3 chicken breasts, because I didn't feel like buying 2 packages (they come in packages of 3). This meal looks really good and tasty, but it was pretty disappointing. I didn't like the sauce at all, and the chicken needed something - maybe more cheese. The spinach was pretty bland. The other thing that was disappointing was that this took way longer than 30 minutes to cook. It took at least an hour. I had to cook the chicken in the oven (after turning up the heat) for 25 minutes in order for it to be done all the way through, as opposed to the called for 5 to 7 minutes. Oh, and I also changed the fresh thyme to dried.

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