Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cream Cheese Chicken Roll-Ups

This is an old favorite of ours, but I've always run into the problem of not being able too cook the chicken all the way through, because the rolled up chicken makes it hard to cook the center. I was also afraid of using toothpicks because they might burn in the oven...and hence never cooked these stove top because they would come un-rolled. But I faced my fear! I used those toothpicks. By soaking them in water, I believe I prevented any major charring and the roll-ups stayed perfectly, well, rolled up.

Cooking them in the fry-pan first made ALL the difference. It helped to partially cook the chicken AND get the cornflake crumbs a nice, crispy golden brown. I also spread the cream cheese out over the whole chicken breast, rather than just rolling the chicken around one big lump of cream cheese, which I think may have helped with the cooking processes. You can by these super thin-cut breasts at your local grocery store (I used Perdue), but if you can't find them, pound out two regular chicken breasts to about a 1/4 inch thickness (or thinner if you can!) or slice the chicken thinly, length wise. The thinner the chicken, the more evenly it will cook. If you have some roll-ups that are smaller than others, take those out at the 10 minute mark, and leave the big boys to bake for a few minutes more.

This is a super easy recipe to size down for one, or size up for four. It does take a little while because of the breading, but is well worth the trouble.

Cream Cheese Chicken Roll-Ups
Serves 2

4 thinly sliced boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (can be bought pre-cut from store)
3-4 oz. cream cheese
1 TBS italian seasonings
2 tsp. garlic salt (to taste)
1 cup cornflake crumbs or breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water
2 TBS butter

1) Preheat oven to 350ºF. Soak 4 toothpicks in water for about 10 min. (this is to prevent them from burning).
2) Mix together cream cheese, seasonings, and garlic salt until blended (this is easier if the cream cheese is at room temperature).
3) Spread cream cheese thickly on each slice of chicken. Fold over sides and roll up tightly, securing the end with one of the soaked toothpicks.
4) Dip chicken roll-ups in eggwash then coat in crumbs.
5) Heat butter in a pan or skillet over med. heat until frothy. Add chicken roll-ups. Cook 2-3 min. or until bottom is golden brown. Rotate and cook 2-3 more minutes. Continue until the entire outside of the roll-up is a golden brown and the chicken has begun to cook through.
6) Transfer chicken to a baking dish (or, if your pan can go in the oven, simply put it straight in). Cook for 10-12 minutes more, depending on thickness of the roll up. Transfer to plates and remove toothpicks.

**For a neat little finishing sauce, after removing chicken from skillet, add some white wine to deglaze the pan. Add about 1/4 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup milk, salt, pepper, and 1 TBS of flour. Whisk together and cook over med. heat until thickened. If it comes out lumpy (this happened to me, because I forgot to use a whisk with the flour) pour through a mesh strainer. Drizzle over finished chicken roll-ups.

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