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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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Lately, life for me has been so busy, I haven’t been able to post any recipes. I’ve been working a lot more and that’s great because I’m able to save more towards great new recipes like this one.

Let me say, this dish is one that I believe you will love. It’s easy, eye-catching, and so delicious. This is my Chicken Involtini With A Lemon Dijon Sauce.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40
Yields: 8 Chicken Involtinis
Equipment: 12-inch non-stick sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid, whisk, Chef’s knife, meat-safe cutting board, small bowl, whisk

Ingredients:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts yielding 8 chicken cutlets
8 slices of Prosciutto
8 sliced of Provolone cheese
1 pound of asparagus, blanched
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
3 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup of freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

Directions:
Ask your butcher slice each of the chicken breasts into 4 cutlets yielding 8 cutlets total.

The next step is *blanching 1 pound of asparagus in boiling salted water, around 3 to 4 minutes depending on their thickness. Immediately transfer the asparagus to an ice bath. This process will stop the cooking process and set the vibrant green color. Remove the asparagus spears from the ice bath and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Pat dry.

The very first thing is to lay all 8 of the cutlets out onto a meat-safe cutting board. In a small bowl add 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of dried thyme, stir to combine. Season all the chicken cutlets evenly on both sides.

Lay 1 slice of the Prosciutto and 1 slice of Provolone cheese (refer to the pictures above) on each of the cutlets. Place 3 to 4 asparagus spears, across, on top of the Provolone cheese, carefully roll them up, then transfer them to a plate with seam side down.

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and unsalted butter. Place four of chicken Involtinis seam-side down into the pan. Sear the first side for about 2 minutes allowing the Chicken Involtinis to form a golden outer crust. Turn the Chicken Involtinis over 1/4 of the way to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, again another 1/4 turn, 1 to 2 minutes, finally the last side for 1 to 2 minutes. You want the Chicken Involtinis to have really great color on all sides. Remove the chicken roll-ups, transfer to a plate, and repeat the entire process again with the remaining four. Start with another 2 tablespoons each of the butter and olive oil.

Once all the chicken have been seared off, in the same pan set the heat to medium-high. Arrange the Chicken Involtinis so all eight are in the pan. Add 1/2 cup of unsalted chicken broth and place a tight-fitting lid onto the sauté pan. Allow the chicken steam for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the lid, transfer the Chicken Involtinis to a plate.

The pan is now filled with flavor from all those bits of chicken stuck to the bottom of the pan. Continue over medium-high heat to *de-glaze the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the bits of chicken that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan. This process will fortify the chicken broth with even more flavor.

Reduce the chicken broth to where there is practically no liquid left in the pan. Turn the heat down to medium, switching to a whisk add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, swish the butter around allowing it to melt. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour whisking constantly until the raw flour cooks out and becomes paste-like forming a *roux. Continue whisking, slowly pour in 2 cups of unsalted chicken broth, until broth absorbs the *roux.

To that, add the Dijon mustard, the zest, and juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, 1/2 a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and a teaspoon of dried thyme, whisk to combine until sauce thickens about 3 to 5 minutes.

Turn the heat off and add the chopped fresh Italian parsley for color.

Ladle that delicious Lemon Dijon Sauce over the top of the Chicken Involtinis, serve hot.

*Blanching is a cooking process wherein a food, usually a vegetable or fruit, is scalded in boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water to stop the cooking process.

De-glaze is to dilute meat sediments in (a pan) in order to make a gravy or sauce, typically using white wine or broth.

*Roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces.

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Braciole and Sweet Italian Sausage

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My Braciole And Sweet Italian Sausage is a childhood favorite. I’ve updated my grandmother’s Braciole recipe.

Braciole or Involtini are stuffed beef rolls filled with just the right amount of ingredients along with the perfect balance of flavors.

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Sweet Italian Sausage (5)

Sweet Italian Sausage (1)

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: mini food processor, 6-quart Dutch oven, 12-inch sauté pan, 6-quart saucepot with a tight-fitting glass lid, cast-iron grill pan, meat mallet

Ingredients For Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of good tomato paste
1 pint of Cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/4 cup of good red wine, Chianti
2 fresh bay leaves, (substitute dried)
2 28-ounce cans of San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
6 to 8 large basil leaves, finely chopped, for garnish

1 pound of sweet Italian sausage links (5 links)
2 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth
12 thin-sliced top round beef steaks (Scallopini-syle)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of red wine

Ingredients For The Filling:
1 cup of Italian season breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of freshly grated Pecorino cheese
1/4 cup of golden raisins
2 tablespoons of fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil, plus extra if needed

Directions For Tomato Sauce:
Start by the tomato sauce. First, preheat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and tomato paste, allowing the tomato paste to begin to melt. Next, add the diced onions, dried oregano, light brown sugar, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, frequently stirring, cooking the onions until they become translucent around 1 to 2 minutes.

To the onions add the quartered mushrooms, dried thyme, and bay leaves, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release all their water and begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. To the mushrooms and onions, add the minced garlic, stir and cook for another minute.

Next, add the red wine, stirring and scraping the bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring up to a bubble and allow the wine to reduce by half. Finally, add the crushed tomatoes, stir to combine, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 35 minutes.

Directions For Italian Sausage:
First, using a fork, prick 3 sets of holes into the sausage links on both sides. Transfer the sausage links into a large saucepot. Cover with chicken broth and cover with a tight-fitting lid, preferably glass. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes or until the sausage is no longer pink. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the sausage links to a plate and set aside.

Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the grill pan. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the grilled Italian sausage to the pot of tomato sauce.

One at a time, place the beef between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet (smooth side), gently pound to 1/8-inch in thickness. Set aside.

Directions For The Filling:
In a large mixing bowl, add the breadcrumbs, grated Pecorino cheese, golden raisins, finely chopped basil, toasted pine nuts, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and olive oil, mix until the filling just comes together.

Directions For Braciole:
Line all the prepared beef slices on a (meat-safe board) flat surface. Sprinkle the filling evenly over all the beef slices. Roll the beef into a cylinder, tucking in the sides to hold in the filling as you roll. Secure with toothpicks.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place the beef rolls, seam side down in the pan and brown seam side first to seal the rolls. Cook, turning the meat occasionally until each roll is nicely browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the seared stuffed beef rolls (Braciole) to the pot of tomato sauce. Still on medium-high heat, to the same pan add 1/4 cup of red wine, scrape all the bits, from searing the beef rolls,  off the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to reduce by half. Pour all that delicious flavor right into the pot of tomato sauce, stir to combine.

Continue to cook the Braciole and Sweet Italian Sausage in tomato sauce on a low simmer, anywhere from medium-low to low heat (depending on your stove), for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Finish by garnishing with finely chopped fresh basil.

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