Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breast


SERVES 4

Nutmeg, spinach, and Fontina cheese are favorite ingredients in northern Italian cooking. Chicken cutlets stuffed with a mixture of the three and served with a white wine sauce make a perfect company dish. Prepare a few hours in advance if you like and then reheat before serving.

INGREDIENTS

8 chicken cutlets (about 2 pounds)
Two 10-ounce bags fresh spinach, stemmed, rinsed, and drained
4 1/2 tablespoons Colavita™ Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, diced
1 cup diced Italian Fontina cheese
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

SAUCE
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons unbleached all- purpose flour
2/3 cup homemade chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Fine sea salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

With a meat pounder, flatten the cutlets to a 1/4-inch thickness, being careful not to tear the meat. Set aside.

Place the spinach in a dry large skillet, cover, and cook over medium heat until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze dry. Coarsely chop and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat 2½ tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are lightly browned. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool slightly. Wipe out the skillet and set aside.

Stir the cheese, nutmeg, and salt into the spinach. Spread the mixture evenly over the cutlets. Roll each one up like a jelly roll and tie with string or fasten with toothpicks.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat and heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the chicken rolls and cook until nicely browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the rolls to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until the mixture forms a paste, about 1 minute. Slowly add the broth and wine, whisking until the sauce is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and salt. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.

NOTE: The dish can be prepared a few hours in advance, covered with foil, and refrigerated. To serve, heat, covered, for about thirty minutes in a preheated 350ºF oven.

This recipe is from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1995.

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