Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chicken Rolls with Ham and Cheese Filling

Two weeks of no posting! Unacceptable! Luckily, it doesn't mean that there were two weeks of no cooking. But I was rather busy with interviews and some tasks, so I just couldn't find time to post all the nice recipes that I prepared these days. The bright side is that now I have enough material for a long period. So let's get started.

Few days ago I came back from a week in London, where I was visiting my sister. It was really nice. I got to meet some friends, some of which I haven't seen for ages. But with all the going out I didn't really have time for cooking, so most of the times the food options were limited to either some questionable British pub food (apart from the bucket of chicken wings that we shared with Mathias and they were great) and nice and colorful but always pretty much same Asian food from Camden. So, after a week of torture for my stomach I came back and was inspecting what was still uneaten in the fridge. What I found didn't leave much space for creativity. Apart from beer, ketchup and few eggs I found a bunch of oranges that were really close to going bad. I bought them just before leaving and my man was too bored to reach out the fridge and have some vitamins.

Anyway, the first day I was too tired to cook anything more complicated than just pasta. So I decided to deal with the oranges the day after. I was thinking what to do with them apart from just eating and I came up with a really nice idea of combining them with some chicken somehow. But then again, Stratis finds chicken breasts (well this is what I had in the freezer) by themselves too boring and I don't think that marinading them in orange juice would change his mind so I decided to spice the things up a bit. Ham and cheese would be just perfect. So after some thinking I came up with these chicken rolls, which I think were pretty good and slightly different from the usual grilled chicken with some salad on the side.


5 halves skinless, boneless chicken breasts
5 slices Gouda cheese (or any other cheese that melts)
5 slices smoked ham
10-12 small green olives, pitted
toothpicks or BBQ sticks for holding the rolls
juice and flesh of 3 orange
thyme, salt, black and red pepper to taste
2 tsp liquid honey

1. On a cutting surface place one half of the chicken breast like on the picture and then make a parallel to the table section on the left side but don't cut all the way through. At the end you should have something like a "sheet" of chicken.

2. Beat the chicken with a kitchen hammer or an empty wine bottle until it's thin and wide.
3. Place a slice of cheese and a folded slice of ham on the right side of the chicken "sheet" and top with a couple of olives.

4. Holding the filling inside with your fingers, roll it until you create a tight roll. With a couple of toothpicks fix the edges so that the roll does not fall apart. Place in a deep baking tray and proceed with the next piece of chicken. At the end season all the rolls with some black and red pepper.

5. In a small bowl mix the orange juice and flesh with thyme, salt, pepper and honey. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover with a foil and bake in the over for 30min at 200°C. Remove the foil, turn on the grill and bake for few more minutes until the chicken is golden. Serve with rice or a large green salad.

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