Involtini is an Italian word which translates into small bite of food (wrapped in a filling) and they can be made from a variety of meats, vegetables and fish. My version today will be made from chicken breast. The meat needs to be thinly sliced and then filled. They can be filled with a variety of herbs, ground nuts, spices, cheese, then rolled and cooked in a pan or grilled. If you like this recipe let me know, I would love to know what you think. They are not difficult to make however, involtini are a pleasure to eat.
4 chicken breast fillets (thinly sliced)
3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 cup of ground almonds
2 tablespoons of parmesan (grated)
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 cup sage leaves (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
salt & freshly ground black pepper
olive oil (for shallow frying + a little extra)
1/2 cup dry white wine or stock
Preparation Time: 30 minutes + 1 hour resting time in fridge
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
Makes: 16 pieces (various sizes)
In a bowl place the ground almonds, fennel, crushed garlic, chopped sage, lemon zest, parmesan, salt and pepper, drizzle a little olive oil, combine and mix well. Take a piece of the thinly sliced chicken, using a spoon fill it with the mixture, place the mixture on the meat and spread evenly over the piece. Roll the chicken piece up into a roll and place a toothpick to hold the meat in place. Repeat this until you have finished rolling up all the pieces. Put all the chicken pieces on a plate and place uncovered into the fridge for 1 hour.
Add a little olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Once hot enough, add the involtini and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden before turning over. You may need to place them on the side to ensure they cook through on all sides. Repeat this until you have finished cooking. Once they have all been cooked, add the leftover mixture to the pan and stir a little to slightly brown, add the white wine or stock, cook for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
During the cooking process there are a lot of flavours left in the pan from the herbs, garlic and the meat. De-glaze the pan with a little wine or stock. The wine will give a strong flavoured sauce and stock a lighter flavoured sauce. If you have any left over herb mixture use it to thicken the sauce. You can then pour it over the meat or put the meat back in the pan.
If you find slicing the meat thinly a bit of a chore, ask your butcher he may be willing to slice it for you. To thin the meat out a little more, use a meat pounder however, be gentle.