Recipe: Updated Chicken Prosciutto Roll

I know this is a re-do of a recipe that I posted in August, but honestly this  set of photos is much more informative than the first, so I decided to go ahead and add it… never hurts to show you more about a recipe than less, right?  I also adjusted this recipe a bit from the original, so please forgive my repetition… I want you to have as much info about recipes as I can provide, especially when I make something so tasty that doesn’t actually use a recipe.

I wanted to make a simple, yet elegant, dinner with James River Cellars’ Gewurztraminer wine.  Since we have found that the tastiest pairing of cheese-to-wine uses Bourcin cheese with this particular wine, my primary pairing was already set.  Sadly, though, my local grocery store was out of Bourcin Cheese, so I had to make due with a local goat cheese infused with garlic and herbs which turned out to be very tasty and worked just as well (in my humble opinion).

I started with three large chicken breasts from a sale package of chicken breasts.  Note: I don’t know what sort of giant chickens produced these breasts, but they were thick, meaty, and looked amazing.  I’m sure that they are genetically altered and I should have reached instead for the organic meat, but I was looking for value this time – I was able to get 5 breasts for the price of 2 organic breasts, so that made my decision for me yesterday.  I ran my knife through the meatiest part of the breast but didn’t cut all the way through, so I could open the breast like an envelope and make it as thin and wide as possible.  I used a mallet to pound the thicker spots down a bit so everything was even and got on with the recipe.

Making sure not to tear the meat, I separated a thin slice of prosciutto and laid it on top of the open chicken breast, then topped the breast with a thin line of garlic/herb goat cheese (here’s where I would have used the Bourcin Cheese, had I been able to find it at the store).  Once the layers were in place, I carefully rolled the chicken, beginning at the  side rather than from one of the ends, and then used a long skewer to secure the breast meat and keep all the toppings inside.  My goal was to make a long/thin roll as opposed to a short/fat roll so the meat would be able to cook thoroughly without being too overdone on the outside.  NewChickenPriscuittoRoll

When you are ready to cook dinner,  add a pat of butter and a bit of olive oil to the pan and then sear the rolls on all sides until they are browned and crispy.  I actually made the rolls earlier in the day and let them sit in the fridge until I was ready to cook, but you’re welcome to make them whenever it works for you.  I definitely would have done this earlier in the day if I were making it for company.  Once the meat is seared along all edges, I added the remaining cheese (maybe the last inch of the roll of goat cheese) and Gewurztraminer wine to create a bit of sauce in which the rolls could cook.  Note:  Since I knew the inside of the rolls weren’t anywhere near ready, my plan was to bake them in the oven until my husband came home for dinner.  I’m not sure exactly how long I baked them (remember… I USE THE FORCE TO COOK) but I had set the oven at 350 degrees and popped the saute pan in the oven until things “smelled done” and we were ready to eat.

To finish this dish, I used a bag of green beans and a bag of brown rice.  I microwaved the beans first and tossed them with a little butter and salt before serving.  I microwaved the brown rice afterward and divided that out among the dinner plates.  Removing the skewer at this point wasn’t easy, but I used a fork to keep things steady as I gently pulled the skewer out of each chicken roll.  The final touch was to spoon the cooking sauce over the chicken and rice.  It looked as pretty as it tasted!

Extra idea… if you are serving a small group of people, you could make four of these rolls and then slice them to serve onto individual plates instead of offering each person their own chicken roll.

This is one of my favorite recipes to share with people when I do a wine tasting at James River Cellars.  I do hope that you’ll consider trying this recipe and make it your own.  That’s the essence of cooking… creating something delicious to feed the ones that you love.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Merlot Risotto with Goat Cheese and Carmelized Onions

This is one of those “O M G” recipes for those of you who like a creamy rice dish.  It’s got flavor and just enough texture… it’s decadent yet simple enough to make for a quick dinner… and it’s got lots of ingredients that can be flipped around to suit almost any finicky guest.  Even better, it’s based on a recipe that my boss uses at her house!  It became a staple in her house after her trip to Rome… it’s going to become a staple in my own house because it’s just so darn tasty.  You’ll have to try it and see what YOU think.

Merlot Risotto

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons of olive oil (divided 2T +2T)

Garlic (to taste – I like a lot, so I use 3-4 cloves worth)

1 1/4 cup arborio rice (I used a medium-length rice since I couldn’t find arborio but might use a short-grain next time)

1 cup James River Cellars’ Merlot (You can also use Cabernet Franc or another deep red wine of your choosing)

3 cups beef stock (If you’re making this for a vegetarian, simply use vegetable stock instead)

4 oz goat cheese (Use what you like and the amount you prefer – it’s the creaminess that you want here)

2 large, thinly sliced onions (You can substitute 3 cups of mushrooms or a mixture of both if you prefer)

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large skillet, heat 2T olive oil over low heat, then add onions.  Allow to slowly cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized.  If you’re using mushrooms in any form, this is where you’re going to cook them.
  2. While onions are cooking, heat remaining 2T olive oil in a large saucepan (don’t use something too small!).  Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add rice, tossing to coat in the oil, and allow to toast for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in wine, stirring occasionally.  Once the wine is absorbed, add in 1 cup of stock and allow the rice to absorb the stock as it did with the wine.  Repeat this 2 more times until all the stock has been added and absorbed.  I didn’t stir this constantly – I didn’t feel it was necessary.  I kept an eye on it and then tasted the rice when all the liquid was absorbed – if you like a softer consistency, feel free to add another cup of stock to the rice and stir as before.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and add salt/pepper, goat cheese and onions, then stir.  I like the cheese to be thoroughly incorporated before I serve it, so I don’t top each serving with bits of cheese, but feel free if that’s what you prefer.

You’ll notice that this post looks like an actual recipe… because I started with an actual recipe.  I’ve added tons of places where you can alter things to fit your preferences, but this is your starting point.  If you want to add some protein, feel free!  There’s no “RISOTTO POLICE” who will come and tell you that you’re doing things wrong.  As with any recipe where I use The Force to create a new rendition, feel free to make your own changes.  The idea is to help you think outside the box and come up with a dish that will become a favorite at your house.

After all… don’t you think the famous chefs took some inspiration from the food they ate when they were out?  It’s scary, but try it every once in awhile.  You might create a new “famous” recipe too!