Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Rollatini

This chicken was DANG good! 

Vats of feta were on sale. I had some lonely chicken breasts laying around and happened to have leftover dill from baby shower- tea sandwich making. I always have frozen spinach on hand. 

I thought about sauteeing the chicken and topping it with a little wilted spinach and feta sprinkles but then I remembered that I had bought a giant wooden meat mallet at an estate sale. I needed to use it. FYI, estate sales are awesome places to find cool kitchen stuff. $1 for a giant mallet? Okay!

These rollatini really are huge. I had awesome "leftover pizza" for lunch the next day by placing a few chicken slices, some spinach leaves, feta and a couple spoonfuls of the pan sauce on a whole wheat pizza and broiling until the feta was just starting to melt.

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Rollatini
*Yields 4 large servings
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 oz. defrosted and drained frozen spinach
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 t dried oregano
2 t fresh dill, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon, divided  
1 cup crumbled feta
1 T olive oil
2 T butter 
1/2 tsp each of salt, pepper and garlic powder
1/2 c water

Mix the spinach, garlic, 1/4 tsp of black pepper, oregano, dill, feta and half of the lemon juice together in a small mixing bowl.
Prepare your chicken breasts by pounding them out to approximately 1/3" thickness. You can do this with a meat pounder or large rolling pin.

Place your chicken breast between 2 pieces of saran wrap, or in a gallon Ziploc bag, and begin pounding from the inside of the chicken breast outwards. ZIPLOC Double Zipper Bags, 10-9/16-in x10-3/4-in, 1 GL, 1.75 Mil, (Google Affiliate Ad)
Once you have your chicken pounded out, begin assembling.

Spread 1/4 of the spinach and feta mixture across the top of each chicken breast.

Roll each chicken breast up so that the stuffing is concealed. In the above picture, I rolled from left to right to yield a slightly thicker rollatini rather than a long, thin rollatini.
If you have toothpicks, this would be a good time to seal the "seam" of each breast with a toothpick or two so that the rollatini hold their shape while cooking and the stuffing stays intact. Unfortunately, my toddler discovered my box of toothpicks and "sprinkled" them all over the floor.

Needless to say, I did not use cat hair covered toothpicks and they still turned out great. I had to babysit them a bit more during the searing stage and make sure that I seared the seam first. They weren't quite as pretty but were still soooo delicious!

If you want to pre-assemble and cook later on that day, assemble your rollatini and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large frying pan [I used my 12 inch] heat your olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Coat the chicken in the salt, pepper and garlic powder mixture. 

Place the seasoned chicken rollatinis into the hot pan and sear for about a minute or two per side. Sear the seam side first as this will help the rollatini hold its shape.
Once all sides have been seared, pour the remaining lemon juice and the 1/2 cup of water into the pan [this creates a delicious sauce and some steaming liquid]. Cover your pan and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. At 10 minutes, uncover the pan and let cook for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pan and let rest for approximately 5 minutes before serving. 

While your chicken is resting, place the pan with all of the juices on the stovetop and reduce slightly over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes to yield an awesome pan sauce.
  

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