Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Spinach & Pesto Chicken Rollatini

Recipe Review: Chicken, Pesto and Spinach- whats not to like? Looks fancy but its not- Can be prepped early and thrown in the oven later, 

I get so tired of just marinating and grilling chicken. It's quick and easy to make, but I get burnt out on chicken really fast that way. So I was looking for a new way to make chicken to jazz things up. Last fall I made asparagus stuffed chicken and really enjoyed the way the pesto tasted on the baked chicken. Some googling (and perhaps some olive garden ads) led me to the idea of doing a chicken "rollatini". Basically its a way to make stuffed chicken where you pound the chicken really thin and then roll it up with the stuffing inside. If done right when sliced you will have pretty little chicken pinwheels. I thought this would be good to make ahead and just pop in the oven, and it was!

Spinach & Pesto Chicken Rollatini
adapted from various online sources, but mostly my own
Serves 2

1 extra large chicken breast
2 tablespoons pesto sauce
1/3 of a pound of fresh spinach
1 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1/2 cup lite mozzarella or Italian blend cheese

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and saute spinach until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside. Once cool mix in 1/4 cup of cheese. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Trim any excess fat off chicken and split into two flat pieces. Use a mallet or rolling pin to pound out the chicken until it is an even 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick. Brush the chicken with pesto sauce and spread a thin layer of the sauteed spinach on top. Starting at the smaller end of the chicken tightly roll up and secure seam with toothpicks. Brush the outside of the chicken with the remaining pesto.

Bake uncovered in oven for 25 minutes. Sprinkle top of chicken with remaining cheese and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove toothpicks, slice into medallions and serve.

Nutritional Information: 348 Calories, 16.5g fat, 13.1g Saturated Fat, 111mg Cholesterol, 546mg Sodium, 4.5g Carbohydrates, 1.7g Fiber, 43.8g Protein
printable recipe

for instructional purposes only (since this is obviously not the most aesthetically pleasing photo) this is what the flat chicken should look like before you roll it up

I wanted to put in a little side note that while I was looking up how to prep the chicken the instructions were to "gently pound" the chicken to an even thickness. I thought this was quite the oxymoron, and also inaccurate. What actually happened was that I bashed the chicken with a rolling pin. I'm sure there must be a more effective method, but that seemed to work out alright. Also if you like a little bit of a crust on the chicken it can be rolled in whole wheat flour before baking. I served this with Eggplant Parmesan.

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