Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chicken Involtini

I took a cooking class recently with several of my girlfriends and the dish we learned to make was chicken involtini.  How have I never heard of it before?  It actually sounds and looks like a complicated dish to make, but its not that hard!  I didn't have all the ingredients to make the same chicken involtini dish I made in my class, so I did my own version based on what I had in my kitchen.  I will have to try to recreate it another time, but here is my version of chicken involtini, enjoy!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 ½ - 2 cups chicken stock (You can also use white wine)
2 tablespoons pesto (I used a premade pesto)
½ cup mozzarella & provolone shredded cheese mix
garlic powder
crushed red pepper flakes
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup flour


For the chicken:
You will need to butterfly each chicken breast.  This is actually very simple to do.  Place the chicken breast on a cutting board and place your hand on top of the chicken breast. Carefully insert the knife into the thickest part of the chicken breast, and draw it almost all the way through the chicken breast. Be careful so you don’t cut it all the way through.  Open the chicken breast like a book and, and if needed, use the broad side of your knife to even out the butterflied chicken breast, by lightly pressing the flesh down until it is an even thickness.

Place the butterflied chicken breasts on the cutting board, cut side up.  Sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes, garlic powder and salt on each chicken breast.  Add more or less seasonings to your taste. 

Next spread 1 tablespoon of pesto on top of each seasoned chicken breast.

Add ¼ cup of cheese on top of the pesto.

Roll each chicken breast tightly away from you and place seam side down.

You may use twine to wrap each rolled chicken breast or you can use aluminum foil strips instead!  This is a new trick I learned at my cooking class.  You cut a strip of foil and use that as twine to wrap around your chicken.  No need to keep twine in your kitchen again!

Place the flour in a shallow dish, and dip each rolled chicken breast in flour to lightly coat. 

Heat 1 -2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy pan on medium high heat. 

Add the rolled chicken breasts into the hot pan; make sure you hear it sizzle so you know the oil is hot!  This is how you know you will get a good sear on the chicken.   Turn the chicken so it gets a nice sear and is lightly browned on each side.   You do not need to cook it all the way through.

Remove the lightly browned chicken and place on a dish.  You may cover to keep warm.  Next, add 1 ½ - 2 cups chicken stock and 1 tablespoon butter into the same pan and bring to a simmer.  Using a wooden spoon, stir and scrape to get all the nice browned bits off the bottom of the pan.   Let the chicken stock (or wine) reduce a little.  This will make a nice sauce to go with your chicken.

Reduce heat to low and add the chicken back into the pan with the sauce.  Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes. 

You can cut the chicken into slices and pour the sauce over the chicken slices.  Add a side salad and you have a complete dinner!

Serves 2.  This is a simple dish that will still impress anyone you serve it to!