Chicken Involtini – It’s Italian for OHMYGODthistatsessogood!
There are a few topics that you’re not supposed to talk about in company; politics, religion, money, but I think we can all agree that wrapping anything (but particularly cheese) in meat and cooking it, is one of the single greatest culinary achievements mad has made. That and smoked bacon – which should really go without saying. This recipe for mouthwatering Chicken Involtini with Smoked Mozzarella will knock the socks off your friends, family, or the date you’re trying to impress. The best part is, it seems difficult to make, but it’s really not. So you get to play the genius in the kitchen card without actually needing to be Mario Batali. Involtini are small bites of Italian deliciousness, all rolled up, oven baked, and oozing with melted mozzarella. This dish can be prepared easily and mostly in advance – win! – so when the guest/s arrive you can simply throw it in the oven and finish it off. Psst – we’ve included a recipe for creamy polenta too, just incase you wanted to round this dish out into a fancy (but so simple!) meal.
Chicken Involtini with Smoked Mozzarella – Serves 4
- Prep: 20mins Cooking: 20mins
- 4 x 5 oz. chicken breast fillets
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp. flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 9 oz. smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 jar (7oz) roasted red peppers, drained
- 16-24 thin pancetta slices
- 10 oz. bottled tomato sauce (passata) ½ cup fresh basil leaves, ripped Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Lay the chicken breasts on a board between pieces of baking paper. Beat with a rolling pin or meat mallet to flatten to an even thickness of about 1/2 – 3/4 inch.
- In a small bowl combine 1tbsp oil with the herbs, garlic, and salt and pepper.
- Lay 4-6 pancetta slices overlapping on the bench (so they’re big enough to enclose the chicken). Place a chicken breast across the slices.
- Brush chicken with a little herb/oil mixture, then top with a layer of mozzarella slices and some of the peppers.
- Starting at one of the short ends (you want it to be thick when rolled, not long), roll up the chicken and filling, using the pancetta to completely enclose it. Tie in 2-3 places with kitchen string.
- Repeat for all of the chicken fillets
- Heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat in a large ovenproof fry pan. Cook the involtini (in batches if needed), turning to brown each side about 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer to the oven for 10 minutes until chicken is cooked and cheese is melted.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan warm the passata gently over low heat. Season to taste. Remove from heat when warm and stir in basil.
- Remove chicken from the oven, slice thickly, and serve topped with a ladle full of warm tomato and basil sauce. Serve with a side salad, or you might like to serve the involtini on some Creamy polenta.
- 1 ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2/3 cup instant polenta
- 4oz cream
- 1oz grated Parmesan cheese
- 3.5oz mascarpone or thickened cream
- Place the milk in a saucepan with the garlic and 3/4cup water, season well and bring to a boil.
- Whisk in the polenta.
- Cook stirring for about 10 minutes until thickened, stir in the cream and Parmesan and heat through.
- Remove from the heat and add the mascarpone, serve immediately (with involtini on top)
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