Thursday Dec. 15, 2011
Last night I cooked what used to be a go-to meal for me, but also one I had not made as long as I could remember. In fact my wife said I'd never made it for her and we've been living together for four years now. The meal I'm referring to are chicken breast roll-ups. They're a pretty simple recipe, one I got some years ago out of the original volume of the Downhome Household Almanac and Cookbook. Basically that recipe called for chicken breasts pounded flat, dipped in a mixture of melted butter and Worcestershire Sauce, breaded in traditional Newfoundland savoury dressing, tucked into a roll, and baked. These are quite tasty, and I especially loved them served with scalloped potatoes.
For some reason yesterday afternoon, this recipe popped into my head, and when I got home from work I was anxious to give it a try...but this time with a little twist. One thing I wanted to do was make use of things I already had on hand, for both the chicken roll-ups and for the side dishes. For the chicken, I knew I wanted to use savoury, and I also knew I wanted to spice up the marinade. I had some fresh broccoli, as well as a large sweet potato and some Yukon gold spuds in the pantry. I also wanted to play along with the traditional savoury dressing. I love using panko, but I felt that all Panko wasn't what I wanted, so I made fresh breadcrumbs as well, out of some country potato bread I had left from this past weekend. (I now refer to potato bread as the "where have you been all my life" bread..well I say the same thing about sourdough too!). Lastly, I had some artisan cheeses leftover from a party this weekend and I snuck a piece of Gruyere into each roll-up. Anyways...here's what I came up with.
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to about a 1/2 or 3/4 inch thick
In a bowl or Pyrex dish combine the following:
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Italian Salad Dressing
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp White Wine
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chili flakes
Dash of salt and pepper
Add the chicken breasts in the marinade and leave for about an hour.
For the breadcrumb dressing/coating, combine:
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp dried summer savoury, rubbed in the palm of your hand
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1/2 tsp of fresh black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly grease a Pyrex dish large enough to hold 4 roll-ups.
One at a time, dredge the chicken breasts in the breadcrumb mixture. Try and get an even coat, but some bare batches are fine. Lay a slice of cheese in the middle and roll up the breast. Lay seam-side down in the dish and press some more of the breadcrumbs onto the top so that it has a complete crust. Repeat for the other three chicken breasts. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until internal temperature is 160°F and inner juices run clear.
Sweet Potato and Gold Potato Dollar Chips
For the spuds, I pealed 1 large sweet potato and 3 large Yukon Golds, which gave me about an even number of chips. I sliced the spuds into thick round chips (think thick potato chips) that were about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick. I call these dollar chips, and I've heard that around Newfoundland. I'm not sure what they're called elsewhere (these are also wicked good pan-fried in shortening in a cast iron pan...that's the way Mom used to cook them for me for a nice treat when I'd come home for lunch from school some days). After soaking in water for a bit, I drained them and added a few "glugs" of vegetable oil, and seasoned them with 1 tbsp of savoury (I wanted to bring the savoury into a couple of elements of the dish), 1 tsp of garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
To cook the potatoes I separated them onto their own baking sheet since the sweet potatoes cook quicker. I set them into the oven while I was prepping the chicken breast, and I hauled the sweet potatoes out after about 10-12 minutes, gave them a flip, and let them rest on the stove top. Once the chicken was done I popped them in for another few minutes to brown the other side. The Yukon Golds took almost as long as the chicken.
This was a super easy and delicious meal! I got back to my roots and held true to my philosophy of keeping it simple, using what you have, seasoning it well and making it tasty!