3 Stuffed Chicken Valentino

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Back in 2004, I had been married for a couple years, but enjoying cooking for myself.  You see, my husband is (or was, he's really gotten better) probably one of the world's pickiest eaters.  For instance, he won't eat any kind of pasta.  There was a time when he really only wanted to eat hamburgers, hot dogs, and this extremely disgusting stuff he calls "tuna mash" which was just mushed up canned tuna and a little bit of yellow mustard.  Really?  Really?  Our first major fight was right before a dinner party when he looked askance at the dish I had prepared and says "are you really going to serve that?"  Hoo boy.  Be glad you weren't there.

Now after 8 years he eats a wider range of food, and certainly more green things.  Probably because I'm constantly telling him he'll die of scurvy or Rickets or some other such 17th-century ailment.  To his credit, he always at least tries what I make, and I love him for it.

The point is, I stopped worrying about what he'd like, and started cooking for myself, and if he ended up liking it, I'd add it to the recipe box.  I came up with this simple recipe.  It's really just a method - a roulade - and the filling could be literally anything you wanted.  I submitted it to AllRecipes.com and it was published.  Six years and over 6,500 people later, my recipe has 4.5 stars.

Ladies and gents, I give you my Stuffed Chicken Valentino (slightly altered)

1 chicken breast per person
dried Italian herbs
Parmesan cheese
kosher salt/pepper
roasted peppers
mozzarella or other melty cheese
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.

I got these nice organic chicken breasts from Costco, they come two to a package, which is very convenient. Pat them dry and butterfly them - while they are laying flat, run a sharp knife across the middle so it opens up widely.  This doesn't have to be perfect, as you can see from my pictures.  Just try your best to make both sides even thickness, and don't cut all the way through!

Wow, my hand looks weird at this angle.

Next you can either place a chicken breast into a large plastic bag, or just use some plastic wrap on top, and pound out to an even thickness.  I used my cast iron small skillet for this job (it's a multi-tasker!)

When they are flat, sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the Italian herbs.

Sprinkle each breast all over with the Parm, then place some roasted peppers and your melty cheese on the widest end.  I roasted these peppers myself a short while back, then kept them in small zip-lock bags in the freezer until I was ready to use them.

Roll up carefully, and as tightly as you can, but don't worry so much about the filling or gaps, just do the best you can.  Here's where the toothpicks come in handy - sometimes you don't need them, but there's no shame in using them to secure your roulade closed!

In a small oven-safe fry pan, heat a little olive oil over med flame, then place the roulades seam-side down and cook for 1-2 minutes until browned.  Turn the chicken rolls until each side is golden brown.  (See, I had to resort to the toothpicks.)

Pop the whole pan into the pre-heated oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

Slice in half, arrange on a plate and serve with your favorite veg.  I sometimes serve this with a homemade alfredo sauce over it, but this time I made a light tomato and roasted red pepper vodka cream sauce (small jar of bruschetta like you can get at Trader Joe's, some chopped roasted peppers, heat through, add a splash of half/half and a splash of vodka, heat until bubbling.)

Oh my.  It's perfection on a plate.  And even your picky husband might like it. :-)

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Kuusou said...

Looks delicious! Thanks for the step-by-step instructions. :)

tinyskillet said...

That's a great dish! That's great that it is on All Recipes too!

I don't know what I'd do if my husband was a picky eater. I lucked out he likes most everything except cucumbers and green peppers (red bell peppers too) but it's faily easy to cook around that.

I could use this one and use roasted artichokes instead of the roasted peppers.

lavenderdiva said...

Thanks for posting this recipe! this looks absolutely delish!!

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