Life in a Northern Town

Chicken Stuffed With Prosciutto, Roasted Tomatoes & Fontina

Do you know what's good about having a friend whose husband is a vegan? Prosciutto, as in 'here take this with you, we won't eat it and I know how much you love salty, cured pork'. I went to Liz's for a drink and came home with a baggie of prosciutto— now that's my version of a kick ass Friday night. Which evolved into a kick ass Saturday night dinner— chicken breasts wrapped around roasted tomatoes, spinach, fontina and prosciutto. It was a good weekend.

Tomatoes in December are disappointing, to say the least. After a summer full of vine ripened (outside on a plant, not in a plastic bag at the grocery store) tomatoes, the winter iteration falls a little short. Roasting them concentrates the flavors and makes them taste more like tomatoes and less like cardboard. It's an extra step but well worth it— tomato-ey cardboard is never a good thing.

The splitting, pounding and rolling portion of the dinner prep was more difficult than I expected. The chicken breasts I bought at the store were a little too small, next time I'm going for Dolly Parton-esque breasts— so they don't fall apart when I'm pounding them out. But lots of  kitchen twine, cheese and prosciutto made up for the chicken infrastructure issues.

Chicken Stuffed with Prosciutto, Roasted Tomatoes & Fontina

8 roma tomatoes, sliced into quarters
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
12 slices of prosciutto, thinly sliced
12 slices of Fontina. thinly sliced
30 - 40 spinach leaves (or a couple of big handfuls)
3 tbsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. rosemary, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper

Preparation
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil , salt and pepper and place on a parchment lined sheet tray. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until they are softened and wrinkled. Set aside.

Halve the chicken breasts horizontally, keeping the long side attached. Open the halves like a book and pound the breasts until they are 1/4 inch thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper and set aside.

Place on each chicken breast (in this order): 5 - 6 pieces of spinach, 2 slices of prosciutto, 2 slices of Fontina cheese, 4 - 5 roasted tomato slices and a sprinkling of rosemary. Roll up chicken length-wise and tie with kitchen twine.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Heat 4 tablespoons of butter in a large, ovenproof sauté pan, add the chicken roulades and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Place the sauté pan in the oven and bake until an instant read thermometer inserted into the middle of the roulade reads 165 degrees, about 7 - 8 minutes. Let them sit for about 5 minutes, then slice and serve.