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Combine thinly pounded chicken breast, fill it with some roasted peppers and melty cheese, then brown it to crunchy goodness to make this simple, yet delicious, meal
Heat the oven to 375°F.Place the chicken breast in a large zip-top bag and using the smooth side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a small frying pan, pound it out until it is fairly uniform in thickness. Season with salt and pepper; layer 1/4 the peppers inside each breast, then top with the two halves of cheese, overlapping them as necessary to keep it all inside the breast. Rolling from the thin, shorter edge to the wider edge, roll the breast using your fingers to sort of fold in the edges (this will help keep the filling inside the breast, not allowing it to leak out into the frying pan). Secure the roll with a couple pieces of string, one on each end, or a toothpick in the middle holding the roll together. Don't use too much string because when you cut it off, the coating will come off with it, so just a quick tie about an inch from each end should secure it.
In one each of three shallow bowls, put the flour, the egg, and the panko. Carefully take one of the rolls, dredge in the flour, then dip in the eggs, then roll in the panko. Set aside on a wire rack while you complete the rest of the rolls.
Pour enough oil into an oven proof skillet to cover the bottom by 1/4 inch; when hot add the chicken, seam side down, and fry until brown and crispy, turn and cook the other side. Return the roll to seam side down, then place in the oven to finish cooking, about 10 - 15 minutes.
While the chicken cooks, heat the salsa verde in a small pot until just simmering. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream; taste and add lime juice to taste.
Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes on a cutting board. Slice into slices. Spoon sauce over the top, sprinkle with cilantro if desired and serve.
Once you’ve come up with a recipe like Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu with Dijon Mustard Sauce, it’s not a far jump to take your love for Mexican food and come up with a Chile Cheese Chicken Roll-up with Creamy Verde Sauce. Replace the ham with roasted pepper, the swiss cheese with some pepper jack and top it with a creamy Verde sauce. The jump was seamless.
These chicken rolls are best when made with a fresh roasted poblano (sometimes called a pasilla) pepper, or you could use an Anaheim/California chile. In a pinch, you can also use canned roasted whole peppers, such as Ortega brand. Pepper jack cheese was my cheese of choice, but regular jack or a Four Cheese Mexican blend would work as well.
While with the recipe for the Chicken Cordon Bleu I put the crunch of the breadcrumbs on top of the dish, for these, I dredged the rolls in flour and panko and then fried them. I suppose if you wanted to bake them you could; hot oven, a little cooking spray on top, 20 minutes or so until cooked. But I liked the fried crunch and when you fry with hot enough oil, the penetration of the oil into the food is minimal.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
The easiest way to pound out the chicken is to put the breast, with the tenderloin removed, into a large zip-top bag; starting at the thickest part, pound lightly, but firmly, with the blunt side of a meat mallet, or even a small frying pan will work. Gently pound from the center to the outside, until the meat is fairly uniform in thickness. Don’t fret if some of the meat tears, you can fold those pieces in when you roll and secure the final filled roll which will be tied, dredged, coated and fried to a crispy crunchy goodness, then topped with a simple creamy green tomatillo sauce (and yes, I used canned).
No matter how you slice it…it’s good.
Are you hungry yet? I am. So let’s go and make it!
I served these Chile Cheese Chicken Roll-ups with some cooked rice that I mixed with some black beans and fresh corn.
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