Sometimes, a restaurant tasting meal is much more work than simple home cooking. But sometimes, it really isn’t any more time-consuming. The other day when I was planning out our weekly meals, I realized that the remnants in the fridge–a hunk of aged cheddar, some last few sprigs of rosemary, a jar of apricot preserves, and chicken breasts needing to be cooked–belonged together. I hadn’t quite figured out exactly how I wanted the recipe to look, but once I decided on a roulade, I worried it might take longer to make than I had planned for a weeknight meal. I told Trevor dinner might be a little later, but by the time he came home, I was just finishing up the dish.
This meal is deceptively quick to put together, but tastes so amazing. It is one of those recipes that makes you really excited to take leftovers to work the next day. Don’t skip the broccolini (or at least sub for another veggie of your choice); the sauce that accumulates in the pan from the chicken and apricot glaze is perfect drizzled over the top.
- 4 ounces English white cheddar cheese, shredded
- ¾ cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary (about 4 large sprigs)
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3-4 large breasts)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Olive oil
- ¾ cup apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 large bunch baby broccolini
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium sized bowl, mix together cheese, walnuts, and rosemary. Set aside.
- On a large cutting board, take chicken breasts and slice them in half width-wise, so the breasts are the same size but thinner (do this is if your chicken breasts are fat, but you can skip this and just pound them if they are on the smaller side) . Lay the breasts out on the cutting board, and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or other heavy flat object, pound the breasts until thin and even. Remove and discard plastic wrap. Season breasts with salt and pepper. Evenly divide the walnut and cheese mixture and add to the top of the chicken breasts, covering the surface except for a small border around the edges. Roll up breasts tightly to form roulades, securing with either kitchen twine or toothpicks.
- In a small bowl, stir together the apricot preserves, balsamic, and water. Set aside.
- Over medium high, heat a small amount of olive oil in a large oven proof skillet (I like using a cast iron skillet). Once hot, add chicken, seam side up. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 3-4 minutes, then flip over. Take apricot mixture and spoon about half over the chicken. Place in preheated oven. After about 5 minutes, spoon the remainder of the glaze over the chicken and place back in oven. Continue to cook until chicken is cooked through, about 5 additional minutes.
- While chicken cooks, make the broccolini. In a medium skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium high heat. Add broccolini to pan, and season generously with salt and pepper. Cover and let cook until tender but crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Remove toothpicks or twine from chicken. Serve broccolini and chicken together, with accumulated sauce in the bottom of the chicken pan spooned over the dish.