M and I had a couple of special visitors last night. M's mom and dad came to spend the evening with us in Philadelphia! I decided to whip up a simple but yummy weeknight dinner for my future in-laws.
Neat little packages of juicy chicken breast rolled up to hide a center stuffed with fresh mozzarella and spinach.
The theme of the dinner was clearly spinach, as the chicken was served with a side of spinach gnocchi and a fresh spinach salad. The four of us had a lovely visit and it was great to have them with us before they headed on to Chicago. Since these roll ups can be prepared in advance, I had put them together the night before..This allowed us more time for talking and catching up! The only effort this took last night was a quick browning in the pan and placing them in the oven to bake for 15 minutes -- perfect for simply spending time with loved ones without fussing too much over the stove.
Chicken Roll Ups with Spinach and Mozzarella: serves 4
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Approx 12 small balls of marinated fresh mozzarella
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
2 T. olive oil
1 T each garlic powder, dried basil, salt & pepper
1 T. butter
Place each chicken breast between two sheets of wax paper. Starting from the inside of the breast and working outward, gently pound each to 1/4 inch thin. Remove the top sheet of wax paper and place 3 mozzarella balls and a few fresh spinach leaves inside the flattened breast. Tuck the outer sides of the breast just over the filling, then roll tightly from one end over the sides and filling. Tuck the breasts fold side down and tie with a piece of cooking string. Top each breast with the olive oil, then evenly season with the garlic powder, basil, salt, and pepper. Place in the fridge for 1-24 hours.
When you're ready to cook the breasts, heat 1 T. butter in a skillet and brown the breasts on the back and front side. Then place in a baking dish in a 400 degree oven or 15-18 minutes (drizzle with extra olive oil for extra juicy chicken), until it is no longer pink. Serve immediately.