Friday, December 10, 2010

Chicken roulades with ham & Swiss cheese

TGIF!  It's Friday and that means a few things to me this week.  I think it's time for a list, wouldn't you agree?

1. Pizza day!  An end of the week fun to make reward meal for moi.  I bought the makings for a serious breakfast pizza to make tonight after the gym.  I've talked about pizza here before but never posted a recipe for the crust.  I'll be sharing it with you next week -- stay tuned.

2. Get psyched for Christmas shopping!  I'm making my list and checking it twice before heading to Ross Park Mall to finish buying gifts for everyone on my list.  And, gulp, Christmas cards.  Confession: I really had every intention of making cards this year, but the absence of any free time (seriously, how is it December 10th already?) made me realize I had to bite the bullet and mail store-bought cards this year.  As crushing to my soul as it is, a few friends have explained that it's not the end of the world and it's the thought that counts.  Thanks, pals :)

3. The Nutcracker!  My sister and I are getting together for a nice lunch and heading downtown to see classic Christmas ballet.  I haven't seen it since college so I'm really looking forward to it.

4. Though it's no secret, the results of Monday's poll are in and they are indisputable -- cinnamon love knots!  Man, you guys sure love your sweets... and that's why I love you so :)  Look for that recipe next week sometime as well.

5.  Devour leftovers for lunch.  Not something most people would normally be excited about, but then again, most people aren't eating chicken roulades with ham and Swiss cheese.  They are just as delicious and much easier to make than you might think...

I love chicken as much as the next person, but it does tend to get a bit boring now and again.  Especially when I haven't made something ahead of time, and I'm left with the 30-40 minute window after the gym... and you are well aware of how hungry/impatient I am after a workout.

This is so quick and easy and satisfying!  Three ingredients will yield a chicken dinner 100 times more appealing than a plain chicken breast.  The sweet maple ham sandwiched between the moist chicken and salty cheese is so gourmet.  I simply can't get over it!

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!  I hope you're up to some baking and merry-making :)

One Year Ago: Chocolate ginger snaps

Chicken Roulades with Sliced Ham and Swiss Cheese

-serves 4

A few notes:  Feel free to shake things up with your choice of fillers.  Meats, cheeses, maybe even some chopped olives or sun-dried tomatoes.  The sky is the limit!  Be careful not to overstuff the roulades or rolling will be a disaster.

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices maple ham
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F.  In a oven-safe skillet, heat olive oil over medium high.  Pound out chicken to a thickness no bigger than 1/2-inch, but preferably thinner.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Top each with a slice of cheese and slice of ham.  (You might have to tear and arrange until everything fits.  Sandwiching the cheese prevents excess oozing.)  Roll up each cutlet and secure with a toothpick to hold roll in place.

Add roulades to skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the roulades until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy roulades with a crisp green salad or side of steamed broccoli.  Check out that swirl of sweet cheesy chicken goodness!

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