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Cheesy Chicken Roulades with Pesto
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There is no such thing as too many recipes for chicken in my home. We just can’t seem to get enough of the good ol’ trusty standby, whether it’s a sweet and sticky take on baked chicken thighs, an Asian-inspired update on chicken wings or my latest favorite, Cheesy Chicken Roulades with Pesto.
These aren’t your ordinary chicken breasts. First, they’re pounded thin and then they’re slathered with homemade basil pesto and topped with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. All that goodness is then rolled up tightly, secured with a toothpick and cooked to poultry perfection. The result? Protein pinwheels that pack a whole lot of flavor into every bite.
Ready to keep on rollin’ with more roulades? Don’t miss my recipe for Chicken Roulades with Tapenade and Prosciutto for a quick-fix meal perfect for weeknight chaos and refined enough for weekend entertaining.
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Cheesy Chicken Roulades with Pesto
- YIELD: 4 servings
- 4 chicken breasts (See Kelly's Notes)
- 3 cups packed basil leaves, washed and thoroughly dried
- 2 Tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for sautéing
- 12 thin slices mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Place one chicken breast between two pieces of parchment paper or wax paper and pound it with a meat tenderizer (or the bottom of a heavy skillet) until it is 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
In a blender, combine the basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, garlic and pine nuts. Pulse for 15 seconds, then with the blender running, stream in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the blender as needed and continue blending until the pesto is puréed. Taste and season the pesto with salt and pepper.
Spread one-fourth of the pesto on one side of each of the chicken breasts then top the pesto with three slices of mozzarella cheese per chicken breast. Beginning at the shorter end, tightly roll up each chicken breast and secure it with a toothpick. Season the outsides of the roulades with salt and pepper.
Heat two large oven-proof skillets over medium heat and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the roulades and sear them on all sides until they're browned. Transfer the pans into the preheated oven and bake the roulades until they are cooked throughout and reach an internal temperature of 165ºF.
Remove the roulades from the oven and allow them to rest for 5 minutes. Remove the toothpicks then slice and serve.
Use chicken breasts that are at least 6 ounces in size, as once pounded thin, they'll provide enough surface area atop which to spread the pesto.
The tighter you roll your roulades, the more uniform of a spiral you'll create.
Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.
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