By Jessica Roy
During past two weeks I've had the great pleasure of guiding some middle school aged students through some of my favorite recipes. It has become apparent as I teach them how to navigate around a kitchen that they all have two things in common: They love sugar and chicken.
I'm not saying that they love the two in combination (though I'm sure if I slathered some homemade Whoopie Pie filling on a chicken wing, they wouldn't flinch), but there is a definite allegiance to both items.
The most popular recipe I've been able to teach and serve has been Caprese Chicken Roulade (or Roll-Ups). They are easy, fun to make, and packed with fresh flavors and melted cheese. If you are looking for something to keep your young culinarians busy one of these summer days, I'd suggest putting your feet up and letting them try their hand at this recipe.
Caprese Chicken Roulade
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4-6 Sundried Tomatoes, sliced
- Fresh Basil
- 4 slices fresh mozzerella
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 4 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Butterfly chicken breasts, cover with plastic wrap, and gently mallet to tenderize. Season face-up side with a dash of salt and pepper.
3. Lay a slice of cheese on each butterflied chicken breast. Top each with fresh basil and sundried tomato slices.
4. Roll up the chicken, and tuck in the edges. Next, carefully wrap the stuffed chicken with butcher's string like a present, tied on top. Repeat with remaining 3 chicken breasts.
5. Place in a baking dish or roasting pan, and rub with olive oil. Season one more time with a sprinkling of salt and pepper on each. Bake at 400° F for 25-30 minutes, or until juices run clear and internal temperature is 165° F.
6. In a small skillet, bring balsamic vinegar to a simmer. Allow to simmer and reduce for about 10 minutes, or until a spoon can draw a line across the bottom of the pan. Drizzle a bit of this alsamic reduction over your Caprese Chicken Roulades.
Jessica Roy is a specialty chef and caterer, food writer and chef instructor, and owner of Shiso Kitchen in Somerville, where she teaches classes. Follow her at http://blogs.lowellsun.com/yourpersonalchef.