Stuffed chicken roll ups – delicious and easy to make, stuffed with pesto, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese, then smothered in creamy garlicky pesto sauce, topped with Mozzarella, and baked to perfection!
What do you do when your oven suddenly starts acting up, and becomes totally unpredictable? Well, you start planning for a kitchen remodel – that’s what!
Yes, this has been long coming, but since it’s such a daunting project that requires all your energy, money and endurance, summoned up for months, we’ve been procrastinating, and I’ve been putting up with the annoying everyday discomforts of my kitchen. But when the central, most important object in the kitchen gives up on you, it suddenly catapults this idea to the top of the agenda list. Suddenly, I need to put on my ‘interior designer’ hat, and re-direct my creative energy elsewhere (away from the blog, I mean). So if I seem a little spacey these days, you know where my mind is. Not to mention that I might not be able to cook for a long time, and in the best case, will be forced to improvise in the garage or the backyard. Ugh…am I really ready for this? I just wish it doesn’t stretch beyond the 3-month mark, that I hear is pretty common for kitchen remodels.
So these stuffed chicken roll ups may be the last oven-cooked meal before the big bang. They are a family favorite, and a recipe I like to prepare when I expect guests. Despite the sophisticated look, they are surprisingly easy to make, and so delicious, they may become your family favorite too. The dominant flavor is Italian – think pesto, goat cheese, prosciutto, tomatoes – all wrapped up in juicy chicken meat, and smothered in creamy garlicky sauce, then topped with Mozzarella for a nice, cheesy, bubbly crust! Who can really resist that? And this yummy sauce begs to be served over pasta, but if you decide to serve it with say, roasted asparagus on the side, it will look even more elegant and fancy.
It takes no more than 15-20 minutes to roll up 8 chicken strips, then 20-30 minutes more in the oven, to finish off. My time-saving tip? Get chicken strips, instead of chicken breast!
For years I’ve been making stuffed chicken, by using the whole chicken breast, and rolling into a giant roll up. But recently, I started buying the chicken strips instead, and they are so much easier to handle – just a couple of bangs with the mallet are all you need to get the perfect size, leave-shape piece of meat. Not only it saves you time and effort, but it makes nicer, smaller individual portions which cook faster, and more evenly.
I used my all time favorite slow-roasted tomatoes here, but you can substitute with store-bought sun-dried tomatoes. Just be sure to drain all the oil before using. And one final note of caution – since the prosciutto and pesto are salty, you might want to ease up on the salt overall. (This comes from a person who holds the fork in one hand, and the salt shaker in the other!)
Stuffed chicken roll ups - delicious and easy to make, stuffed with pesto, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese, then smothered in creamy garlicky sauce, topped with Mozzarella, and baked to perfection!
- 8 chicken strips
- 6 Tbs prepared basil pesto (divided)
- 4-5 oz goat cheese
- 8 slices of prosciutto
- 1/2 cup slow-roasted tomatoes *
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Flatten the chicken strips by pounding gently with a mallet until 1/8" thick, being careful not to tear the flesh. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Lay a piece of chicken strip on a working surface, and spread about 2 tsp of pesto all over. Place a prosciutto slice or two on top, 1 Tbs of sun-dried tomatoes, and 1 Tbs of goat cheese.
Starting at the short end, tightly roll up each piece, and secure it with tooth picks.
Arrange the chicken roll ups on a baking dish, so they lay flat.
Mix the remaining pesto with the whipping cream, and crushed garlic, salt and pepper, and pour the sauce at the bottom of the baking dish.
Bake until the chicken is done (about 20-25 minutes). Sprinkle the Mozzarella cheese on top and return under the broiler for a few minutes, until the cheese has melted and is nicely browned.
* I used homemade slow-roasted tomatoes, but substituting with sun-dried tomatoes will work just fine. If using sun-dried tomatoes in oil, rinse and dry them well first.