Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Chicken Rollantini With Pesto"

I am sure that my ancestors are voicing their opinions from above about the repetitive choice of Italian dishes night after night.  However, it is one of my favorite foods and I know that it makes my husband happy, so they'll just have to wait their turn...also, the little angels, a.k.a., the "critics", love anything with pasta, so I am happy to oblige.  Keeping in mind that there are months where my ancestors will reign in their glory, i.e., "St. Patrick's Day", and of course, "Oktoberfest"!  So, please stay tuned for the variety...

Last night, I made a chicken dish that was very authentic in the Italian department: Very breaded, yet very delicious!  It took some time and preparation, as the breading and browning were the pre-cursor to the baking.  Anyway, my food-handling classes (that I was forced to take throughout my waitressing years) sure came in handy as this recipe called for dealing with "raw chicken" in numerous steps.  Having Lysol wipes "handy" was key, as I would continuously wipe down the counter tops anytime raw chicken was anywhere near! 

I am making a vegetarian item for tomorrow's blog to honor those who choose the non-meat menu--which, by the way, we all know is WAY healthier!  Just look at the animals from which we derive protein...what do they eat?  Answer:  Grass and grains!!!  However, I can't deny how much I love a good steak or hamburger from time to time, let alone the low-fat chicken sandwich!  So, I will try to honor both the vegetarian cuisine and meat-eating cuisine, as I wish to appeal to all diets so that there will be something that everyone can utilize in the recipe arena. 

This received a thumbs-up from all (and I promise to give you the "thumbs-down" reviews, but I am hoping to keep them on the far, so good!).  To think that in less than one month, our financial contribution will transform into 570+ meals, I am exceedingly optimistic and hopeful as to what the future holds as a result of our efforts.
"Let your hook be always cast.  In the pool where you least expect it, will be fish."--Ovid

Here is last night's project:, which came from "365 Easy Italian Recipes" by Rick Marzullo O'Connell.:

Chicken Rollantini With Pesto
8 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, about 5 ounces each
4 thin slices ham, preferably prosciutto, halved
8 ounces mozzarella, cut in 2 x 1/2 x 1/2 - inch sticks
3/4 cup pesto, homemade or jarred
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs beaten with 2 tablespoons water
2 cups dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cut pocket in each chicken breast.  Roll a piece of ham around each piece of mozzarella.  Smear inside of chicken pocket with  1 1/2 teaspoon pesto.  Place ham and cheese roll in pocket and press together.
2.  Dredge chicken in flour; shake off excess.  Dip in egg; dredge in bread crumbs.  In a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add half the chicken and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.  Remove to a baking dish.  Repeat with remaining butter, oil and chicken.
3.  Transfer chicken rollantini to oven and bake 20 minutes.  Pass remaining pesto on the side.

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