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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Chicken Involtini With A Lemon Dijon Sauce

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Life for me, has been so busy for me lately, that I haven’t been able to post any recipes on my blog. I’ve been working a lot more and that’s great because I’m able to save more for our trip to New York. Let me say that this dish is one that I believe you will love. It’s easy, yet eye catching and so delicious.

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Here I have 2 boneless and skinless chicken breast that I had my butcher slice into thin cutlets. Each of the breast yielded for cutlets, so 8 total.  I have 8 thinly sliced Prosciutto, and 8 slices of Provolone cheese. I blanched 1 bunch of asparagus in boiling salted water and then shocked them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and set that beautiful green color.

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The very first thing is to season all the cutlets with Kosher salt and pepper on each side. I also sprinkle a little dried thyme on each side. Just a sprinkling, no need to measure. Then I laid 4 of the chicken cutlets out at a time and placed 1 slice of the Prosciutto and Provolone cheese on each of the cutlets.  I placed 3-4 ( depending on the amount of cutlets) of the asparagus spears on top of the Provolone cheese and carefully rolled them up, setting them on a plate with seam side down.

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Now that all 8 of the cutlets have been prepped and rolled up, you want to have a large saute pan with 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and unsalted butter. I have the pan set between med and med high to melt the butter and getting the two nice and hot before adding in the chicken.  Having the two types of fat will prevent the butter from burning and give some great flavor to the chicken. I sear the chicken of in two batches of four. Place the chicken roll-ups with seam side down first. Sear the first side for about 2 minutes or so to get some good color on the chicken. Then turn them so all sides are nice and seared. I take the first 4 out and then repeat this process again with the 2 tablespoons each of the butter and olive oil.

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Once all the chicken has been seared off on all sides, in the same pan, with the heat still set between med and med high, I place all 8 of the chicken roll-ups back in with a 1/2 a cup of low sodium chicken broth and place a tight fitting lid on the saute pan. I let the chicken steam for around 2-3 minutes, this will insure that the chicken is cooked completely through. Once again I take the chicken out and set it aside while I make the sauce for this dish.

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In the same saute pan that I cooked the chicken in I make the sauce. The pan is filled with flavor from all those bits of chicken that I had de-glazed the pan with the chicken broth. So now, that fortified chicken broth is what’s going to make this sauce so delicious. With the lid off, and the pan still on med to med high. I let whatever chicken broth reduce down to where there is practically no liquid left. I add in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, let that melt and sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of flour whisking constantly until the flour has cooked out and then I add in 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth.

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To that I add in 1 tablespoon of good Dijon mustard, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper, and a teaspoon of dried thyme. I like to throw in some chopped fresh Italian parsley for color and flavor, but if you only have dried that’s fine too. Keep whisking while the sauce starts to slowly thicken. Once the sauce has thicken turn off the heat. The sauce is done. This sauce is so flavorful you will just love it. Listen you make think this seems like a lot of steps, but once you start the actual cooking of this dish, it really does go quickly. When you are explaining a recipe, and putting into words, it looks and seems overwhelming but trust me it’s not. The sauce is the only part that needs your undivided attention, and if you follow what I’ve explained it will happen for you with no problems. Just have your lemon zest ready before you start your sauce and your ingredients for the sauce all measured out beforehand.  The dish will  be just perfect and your family will love it.

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Ladle some of that delicious sauce over the top of the chicken roll-ups and serve.

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Braciole Or Involtini With Spicy Italian Sausage

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I start this dish out with making my favorite tomato sauce. Normally I don’t put mushrooms in my tomato sauce but Steve loves mushrooms so for him I put them in. I started out sauteing the onions, garlic, and 2 bay leaves,1 tablespoon of good tomato paste, ( let that melt with the onions and garlic) and mushrooms in the pot with a little olive oil. I then added my crushed San Marzano tomatoes. The spices I add are Kosher salt, black pepper, oregano, and a sprinkling of brown sugar to balance out the acid in the tomatoes. I cook the sauce on a low simmer while I get the spicy Italian sausage and Braciole prepared. I brown the sausage off on all sides before adding them to the sauce. For the Braciole, I buy thinly sliced beef, usually called Scallopini. I pound them out between 2 pieces of plastic wrap until they so thin, that they are almost see through. In a large bowl, I prepare the filling for the meat and that varies from different regions of Italy. In my family, we used Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, grated Pecorino cheese, golden raisins, finely chopped basil, toasted pine nuts, kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and enough olive oil to moisten the whole mixture. Lay one slice of the beef out on your board and spread the filling thinly across the top and then roll the beef up, secure it with a toothpick. it’s very important that you have a balance of meat to the filling. You don’t want the filling to spill out the sides, and you want the star to be the beef. After finishing all the beef I then brown them off in a saute pan on all sides in a little olive oil, sprinkling a pinch of salt and pepper on the outside of each Braciole. When they have all been browned off I add them to the tomato sauce as well. The sausages have now been simmering in the sauce and have a good head start on cooking when I add the Braciole to the sauce. Let all of this continue simmering on low for a least another 2 hours if not more. You will know when the Braciole is done because it will be so tender that you won’t even need a knife to cut them. Be careful to remove all the toothpicks before putting the Braciole back into the sauce. Having cooked with them in for that length of time they should hold their shape, just be gentle when removing them. That’s it, it seems like a lot of work but so well worth it. Once you take a bite of the Braciole that’s been cooking in that sauce, well you just have to try them. Oh and the spicy Italian sausage just enhances the flavor of the sauce, as they have simmered all that time in the tomato sauce. Finally, finish the sauce off with a sprinkling of chopped fresh basil.

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