Chicken Roll Ups with Goat Cheese and Arugula

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! (And Happy Birthday, Mom!) Hopefully you have your menu ironed out if you’re planning on cooking this evening, but if you don’t, I have another tasty option – Chicken Roll Ups with Goat Cheese and Arugula from the October 2005 issue of Everyday Food. My photo isn’t very elegant, but these really do have special-occasion-worthy flavor.

When I first started cooking, I remember seeing various recipes that incorporated chicken cutlets. I would scour the grocery store, looking in the meat section, the freezer section, and absolutely anywhere else one could find raw chicken. Despite my best efforts, I have never found packaged chicken cutlets in a grocery store. (Has anyone else?) Finally, it occurred to me that if I took regular boneless, skinless chicken breasts and carefully halved them horizontally, the result would be nice, thin chicken cutlets. It made total sense when several recipes mentioned placing them “smooth side down” – that would be the “outside” of the chicken breast.

So for this recipe, I started by “making” my chicken cutlets. I took 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 1/2 pounds) and sliced each one horizontally to make 8 cutlets. (It’s kind of like slicing a bagel, except the chicken breast is much thinner. I press down on the top of the chicken breast while I cut – the pressure makes it a bit easier.) I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper.

Next, I laid each cutlet flat (smooth side down) on a cutting board, spread a layer of arugula over the top, and added some goat cheese crumbles. Starting at the narrow end of each cutlet, I rolled the chicken up tightly and secured it with a toothpick.

I heated 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large nonstick ovenproof skillet and added the chicken, seam side down. After the chicken had cooked for about 90 seconds, I turned the cutlets over and placed the skillet in my pre-heated oven. I cooked the chicken for 12 minutes at 425 F until it was opaque throughout, removed the toothpicks, and served it with lemon-Parmesan rice and poached asparagus.

chicken_roll_ups_with_goat_cheese_and_arugula.jpg

If you’re considering making this, I would check out the photo posted along with the recipe link – you can see how the roll ups look when cut (yummy!). My chicken was seriously juicy – a good thing – but I would’ve had to cut my chicken on a separate surface, make sure it was done juicing, etc. to get a shot like that. I suppose that’s the benefit of photographing food no one actually has to eat. 🙂

Anyway, if you like goat cheese, this one’s a keeper. I definitely plan to make it again.

Recipe link: Chicken Roll Ups with Goat Cheese and Arugula

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