Friday, October 12, 2012

Unrolled Chicken Rolls (or Cheesy Skillet Chicken)

So I found this recipe the other day where you roll a chunk of cheese up in some flattened chicken breast, tie the rolled-up chicken, brown it in a pan, then finish them off in the oven. It sounded amazing. I immediately took some thin-sliced chicken out of the freezer and started debating on cheddar versus mozzarella while I waited.

When the chicken finally thawed, I pulled out my favorite kitchen string and heated up the oven. I pounded out the chicken to the required thinness (thickness?) and started tucking beautiful cuts of mozzarella inside. With my son's help, I tied up the prettiest little chicken parcels you've ever seen. The rolls took their turn in the pan and then I parked them in the oven. In 15 to 20 minutes, we should have been in cheesy chicken heaven. Note my use of the phrase "should have".

At 15 minutes, the chicken was still very raw inside. At 20 minutes, the chicken was still kind of raw inside. At 25, it was in limbo, not raw but not quite cooked yet. I refused to leave the oven, as if my mere presence would guarantee a smooth finish. At 30 minutes, they were finally done. Somehow, even though I babysat them the entire time, 95% of the cheese managed to ooze out in the four and a half seconds it took me to grab the pot holders. I pulled them out and let them rest so they could regroup their juices before we cut into them. I plated everybody up and we finally dug in.

It was dry. Shoe leather dry. Las Vegas dry. Drier than dry. Even spooning some of the pan juices over it didn't help. But the taste was there, so I had to figure out a way to keep the flavor profile and make it edible. I had a few chicken breasts left over, so I gave it another go and they turned out pretty darn good. What did I change? I didn't roll them. No meat mallet, no string, no two-step cooking process. It turns out the key to the chicken rolls recipe was to leave them flat! Who knew?

Unrolled Chicken Rolls (or Cheesy Skillet Chicken)
Makes 4 servings

What I use:
  • 4 thin-cut chicken breast cutlets
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Seasoned salt
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
How I do it:

1. Sprinkle the chicken with the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and seasoned salt.

2. Place the chicken, seasoning side down, in a pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat.

3. Flip the chicken over and put 1/4 c. mozzarella cheese on each cutlet. Pour a tablespoon or so of water in the center of the pan and quickly cover with a lid. The steam will melt the cheese beautifully. (Love that trick!)

4. The chicken should be done by the time the cheese is melted. The actual time will vary on how thick your cutlets are. I always use a digital meat thermometer.

Make it your own - try other seasonings or different cheeses. Let me know your favorite combinations.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to know what you think about what you've read here today. Lucky for us, someone left this box here for just that purpose...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...