Chicken breasts don’t get any better, of course with the help of a few favorites. This is the kind of recipe you serve when you want to shine.
If you’ve been around for a while this dish may seem a bit familiar to you. It’s not the only chicken roll dish we’ve shared, and there’s a good reason for that–and I may ruffle a few sensibilities here: I am not a fan of chicken breasts.
Yeah, there, it’s now in the open. Chicken breasts are the sliced white bread of the meat world. Give me thighs and wings any day!
And because nearly everything has a redeeming quality: chicken breasts are incredibly versatile and, with the right ingredients, lend themselves to very creative dishes. This is why we have so many recipes with chicken breasts, despite my above-mentioned probably-scandalous opinion.
What do you think of chicken breasts? Yay or nay?
Chicken breasts don't get any better, of course with the help of a few favorites. Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Rolls is what's for dinner if you want to shine.
- 1 cup of ricotta cheese (210 g)
- 1 cup of chopped fresh spinach (30 g)
- ½ tbsp of onion powder (6.9 g)
- ½ tsp of salt or to taste (5.7 g)
- 1 medium egg (66 g)
- 4 small chicken breasts (544 g)
- 16 slices of bacon (460 g)
- 2 tbsp of olive oil (30 ml)
- 2 crushed cloves of garlic (10 g)
- 1 ½ cup of tomato sauce (355 ml)
- 2 tbsp of minced curly parsley divided (7 g)
- ¼ tsp of freshly-cracked pepper or to taste (2.8 g)
- ½ tsp of salt or to taste (0.5 g)
Make the stuffing: In a mixing bowl place cheese, spinach and onion powder and mix well. Season with salt to taste. Mix in the egg. Set aside.
Pound the chicken breasts: Butterfly each chicken breast. Place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or meat pounder pound the chicken breasts until they are very thin and have about doubled in area.
Stuff the chicken: Make the chicken rolls by scooping a quarter of the stuffing onto each flattened chicken breast. Roll tightly, making sure to seal the ends.
Cover the rolls with plastic film and freeze (they must be frozen hard for the next step). If you wish, you can freeze for several days and complete the following steps at a later date.
Wrap the chicken rolls: Wrap the rolls tightly with bacon slices. Do not let the chicken rolls thaw before cooking.
Cooking the chicken rolls: Preheat the oven to 400 ºF [205 ºC]. Place the baking roll on a baking tray with a wire rack. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the bacon has turned crispy and golden brown at the top. Remove the pan from the oven and rotate. Return to the oven and cook for 20 more minutes, or until the top side of the bacon is also crispy.
Making the sauce: While the chicken is in the oven, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over very low heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook covered for two minutes, or until the garlic releases its aroma. Pour in the tomato sauce and half the parsley. Simmer covered for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and mix in the remaining parsley (you can save some for garnishing when served).
Serving: Ladle the sauce into a serving dish. Place the chicken rolls on the sauce and serve. We loved this with some steamed vegetables.
I usually double the recipe and keep half of the rolls frozen for later in the week. It makes a great make-ahead meal.