Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chicken Rollatini

It rained today in Okinawa. Not that rain here is any kind of novelty, but I mean- IT RAINED. Cats and dogs rained. The kind of pelting rain that stings your skin when it hits you- and man oh man it was windy! If I hadn't already checked the weather report I would have worried a typhoon was rolling in. Needless to say, I started my to-do list quite a bit later in the day than I had originally intended, but that's ok. I watched an episode on Hulu and enjoyed some "morning tea" my husband brought back for me from Sasebo. He brought me morning tea and peach flavored tea. Both seem scrumptious, but I had to try the morning tea as it is loose leaf, and I have limited experience with those types- and well, I wanted to experiment. I must say, it was quite tasty! I am looking forward to trying out the peach tea.

While I waited out the rain and enjoyed my tea, I perused recipes to get some inspiration for dinner. Having worked this whole past weekend and treating my husband to good ol' American steak and mashed potatoes for dinner last night, I was out of new ideas. When Travis is gone on his mini-deployments, I tend to eat pretty simply and not cook a large amount of food since it's just me and I don't do well with the same thing for a week on end. I need variety. That being said, it's not uncommon for me to have cereal or a fried egg sandwich for dinner while it's just me at home, so I was looking forward to trying something new, and something that actually was intended for dinner!

I saw this on Skinnytaste and immediately knew it's what was going to be on our plates tonight. Lean protein, healthy veggies, and just a touch of indulgence with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. I changed it up a little bit- adding spinach and reducing the amount of cheese called for in the original recipe, and it was d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.!!! I will be the first to admit my version was not the prettiest- I forgot to put foil over the pan so the cheese burned and the spinach didn't loose enough water during the sauté so it collected in the bottom of the pan.

These are small details. Incidentals.

The main point is- appearances can be deceiving. The original recipe calls for cutlets, but all I had were breasts, which I split in half and pounded flat, so the thinness could have affected the structure of the roll, as well. Next time I'll sauté more of the water out of the veggies, and try it with cutlets to see if they roll better. Either way, it was still yummilicous!

Chicken Rollatini with Zucchini and Spinach

adapted from Skinnytaste

1 tsp olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced "flatways" into 2 pieces each, slightly pounded thin
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup zucchini, shredded
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 lemon, juice of
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and fresh pepper
non-stick spray 

Pat dry chicken with paper towels, season with salt and pepper.  Preheat oven to 450°. Lightlyspray a baking dish with non-stick spray.

In a large skillet, heat the 1 tsp oil on medium-high heat. S
auté garlic for about a minute, or until golden. Add zucchini, spinach and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, and sauté about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, then add 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper then mix to combine. Drain any excess liquid that may remain in the pan.

Lay chicken down on a working surface and spread 3 tbsp of zucchini-spinach-cheese mixture on each cutlet. Loosely roll each one and keep seam side down. 

Combine breadcrumbs and remaining Parmesan cheese in one bowl; in a second bowl combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper in another bowl.

Dip chicken in lemon-oil mixture, then in breadcrumbs and place seam side down in a baking dish (no toothpicks needed). Repeat with the remaining chicken. When finished, lightly spraywith oil spray. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese- just remember to cover dish with foil to prevent cheese from burning!

Bake 25 - 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

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