I’m on a [chicken] roll!
This is my 30th post. Yay! Just over 3 months ago, I realized that my Facebook page had basically become a photographic journal for all of our home-cooked meals, and thought that perhaps I could do something better with it. So, here we are! Because of my work schedule, there have been chunks of time in which I wasn’t able to post, and I think it cost me some readers, but overall I’m quite happy with the growing support, and I thank all of you who faithfully pop over from time to time to read about my latest adventure! Since I’m on such a roll (and I don’t really like bread), it only makes sense to post about this really tasty chicken I made recently.
I have my collection of basil plants, so that there is always at least some ready to pick. Chicken is always in our freezer because there’s so many different things that can be done with it – it’s incredibly versatile – and Ryley never refuses chicken. As you know by now, cheese is my weakness (I currently have 9 different cow’s milk cheeses, 2 flavored goat cheeses, and 2 kinds of cream cheese in my fridge as we speak!), so I have many choices when preparing a meal. Jeremiah often works doubles now, and I’ve noticed that he doesn’t have enough time to make food between shifts and will often go without until he’s back home for the night (and of course complain about how I starve him). I wanted to make something delicious for me, but practical for him since he would likely be grabbing the food and bolting out the door.
The new 29 minutes to dinner, volume 2 has a great recipe for Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken with Lemon-Basil Rice. Whether the prosciutto served as a protective cover, or the mozzarella’s moisture worked its magic from the inside, this chicken was so juicy and flavorful that I really wished I had doubled the recipe! I snipped the basil off my plant with the Professional Shears, then sliced some sun-dried tomatoes with the Forged 5″ Utility Knife (my go-to knife for almost everything) and mixed them with pressed garlic (from the Garlic Press, of course). I used my Meat Tenderizer to flatten the chicken first, then rolled the fresh mozzarella, basil and tomatoes together inside the chicken, with the prosciutto underneath wrapping around the outside. Since we now buy those huge fresh chicken breasts from Fresh and Easy, I was able to cut each one in half with the same Professional Shears (do the chicken last to avoid cross-contamination) and make two rolls per breast. While those were in the oven, I made the white rice with snipped basil and lemon zest from my Microplane Zester.
Both Jeremiah and I agreed that the rice was somewhat lacking. We love steamed white rice, but the combination of the basil and lemon zest without anything else made it a tad bitter. Perhaps I added too much of one (or both) of the ingredients. He added soy sauce to his, but that seemed too harsh a flavor for me, since it was intended to be a bit lighter. I also didn’t want to lose the fresh zip of the citrus and basil, so I added just the smallest amount of the soy thinned with a little sesame oil, and that helped some. Unfortunately, since I was trying not to overpower the original flavors and didn’t use anything to sweeten it, it was still a bit awkward tasting. Quite frankly, I thought it was weird to do an Italian style chicken with that type of rice in the first place, so I’m sure our additions to it only made the clashing of tastes even bigger.
The chicken, however, on its own was fantastic! As I figured, Jeremiah wrapped a piece in a paper towel and ran. When he came home, he searched the house for more because he loved it so much! Apparently though, it is definitely a sit-down-at-the-table-with-a-plate kind of meal because even though it was conveniently rolled and compact enough to hold, all the juicy goodness ran down his arm and onto his work pants. There might be a law against eating and driving anyway, so he’s lucky he didn’t get pulled over for a DUIC (Driving Under the Influence of Chicken)! Next time, I’ll prepare it on a night we’re both planning to be home, and perhaps with some fresh buttered fettucini noodles or a simple caprese salad to maintain the congruity with both parts of the meal. Whatever I choose to do with it, I know that sitting down to a delicious dinner in less than half an hour is always a great thing! Now I’m off to put my daughter to bed, goodnight!