Chilaxin’, you say. Is that a word? Of course, it’s a word, it’s a nifty combo of chillin’ and relaxin’, exactly what this chicken must be doing after being slathered in cheese and herbs and given a nice hot oil bath. I have been brainstorming ideas for recipes for the past few days, trying to create something worthy of posting for all of my wonderful readers to enjoy, when this recipe just sort of came together in my head. I have to say, I really think about food all the time. I was in the middle of my work day when I got the idea for this dish, and not only did I create the chicken recipe, I also decided on the sides and how I would prepare them. People always ask where I get my ideas, or where I found a recipe, and honestly it’s always a tough question for me. Sure, I look at a lot of recipes online and I read quite a few food blogs, but I rarely write anything down or print anything out. I just kind of store bits and pieces of recipes in the file cabinet that is my brain, and use everything I’ve stored to do my own thing. I really feel this is the best way to keep things interesting, and I’m all about never getting bored with my food. Anyway, I digress, this is a fantastic everyday or special occasion chicken recipe, and it heats up beautifully the next day for lunch, so if it fits your fancy, roll up a few extras. Feel free to get creative by altering the filling with different cheeses and herbs, that’s probably what I would do if it was someone else’s recipe. 🙂
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Cream Cheese (I used the reduced fat kind)
Panko Bread Crumbs
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Begin by finely chopping the herbs and garlic and finely grating the cheese.
Then combine the herbs, grated cheese, and cream cheese in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste, and just a dash of nutmeg.
Mix until everything is well incorporated and set aside while you prep the chicken for rolling.
Disclaimer: Please excuse the old, grungy cutting board used in the next segment of this post. I only use it for chicken so, never really think about it, but it’s totally embarassing and I will be replacing it this weekend. Shame on me.
For the next part of the recipe you can either use chicken breasts that come thinly sliced or you can slice them yourself. I usually put one chicken breast on the cutting board, hold it firmly down with my hand and gently slice through the middle. Novice cooks should probably use the thin breasts until they are confident in their knife skills.
Once all your chicken is cut, you can grab your filling and a few toothpicks.
You will now want to set up your filling and breading station. Line up your egg and breadcrumbs next to the cutting board or plate that you will be working on, just to make the process go a little smoother. First, spread a small amount of the cream cheese mixture onto your first piece of chicken (I think it makes more sense to fill, roll, and bread each piece of chicken completely rather than filling them all, rolling them, all, etc.).
Make sure not to overfill or it will be very difficult to roll them up. Next gently roll the chicken up, beginning with the wider side, making sure to use your fingers to keep the filling in place.
Secure the end of the roll and the sides with toothpicks. Be careful not to stab yourself!
Repeat this process until all of your chicken is rolled. Then begin the breading process by lightly coating the roll in egg.
Then coat completely in panko breadcrumbs.
Again, repeat the breading process until all of your chicken is coated. Now, you can begin heating your oil before you start the breading process, but because I needed some time to get the sides ready and going, I put all of the rolls on a plate and kept in the refrigerator until I was ready for them.
When you’re ready, coat the bottom of a large skillet with 1/2 olive oil, 1/2 canola oil. The oil should come about 1/4 inch up the side of the pan (I avoid deep frying whenever possible because it just makes me feel so guilty, so this is what I do to get the same effect w/o all the fat). Heat the oil on medium-high until it shimmers when you tilt the pan. Add in your rolls and cook until chicken is cooked through and coating is golden brown.
Drain on paper towels and allow to cool just a little before serving as the gooey, cheesy filling is quite hot.
I served with smashed romano potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts, they were excellent complements. Hope you ENJOY!
Note: Check back, soon for my post on roasted brussel sprouts…trust me, they are tasty.