Monday, April 11, 2011

"Chaos in the Kitchen" Challenge #2: Chicken Scallopine

Challenge #2: Chicken Scallopine with Fontina and Sage (from Food Network's, Everyday Italian)
Recipe Rating: 5 Stars!

As usual, I had the Food Network on tv while I was making dinner awhile ago. Giada De Laurentiis was on with her show Everyday Italian. She made this dish called Chicken Scallopine and it looked really easy! (Basically, it's just chicken cutlets that are rolled up with fontina cheese and sage. They are then seared and cooked in a tomato sauce. Click above if you want the detailed recipe.) I went on Food, looked up the recipe and saved it for future use.

Well, as I was planning my meals for the week, I ran across this one. I thought this would be perfect seeing as how the sage I planted in our veggie garden is just starting to take off. So, I ran to the store to pick up the few ingredients that I didn't already have on hand. One of them was the fontina cheese. I was happy to find it at my local grocery store, but was not happy at how much it cost. I think it was something like $12 a pound. Yikes! I thought about substituting but then I remembered some of the reviewers saying not to do so. So, I bit the bullet and got the smallest wedge of cheese they had.

Anyhow, once I had the cheese home, I plucked some sage leaves from my plant outside and began to make dinner. As I thought, assembling this dinner was pretty easy (unlike my last baking adventure!) If you decide to do this recipe, I do have a few tips on how to make it a little easier. This first tip I have is simply to make sure the cutlets are pounded to equal thickness. I didn't do this and it made it kind of hard to roll them. The second tip I got while reading the reviews on Food Network -- when rolling the chicken up, Giada takes a toothpick and sticks it in the chicken vertically to keep it sealed. While it does keep the chicken together, the position of the toothpick makes it hard to turn the chicken when you're trying to sear it. Instead, put the toothpick in horizontally and thread it though -- kind of like a safety pin. I found this works very well! I even secured the sides of the chicken roll with toothpicks. I wasn't going to let that $12/lb cheese just ooze out! And one last thing -- this is more of a shortcut than a tip. In the recipe it says to take a can of whole tomatoes and put them in a food processor with some red pepper flakes, puree, than add to the pan. Yeah, I just skipped all of that and instead used a can of crushed tomatoes. I added some red pepper flakes to that and viola! Much easier and one less thing to clean.

Okay, so anyhow, I made the recipe as directed and it was AWESOME! I mean seriously, when I was eating it, I was thinking, "This is better than some of the stuff that I've had at nice Italian restaurants!" My husband easily concurred. And the reviewers were totally right about the fontina cheese. It should NOT be substituted. The sage and fontina were a perfect coupling! Oh, and by the way, if you read the reviews on the Food Network site, some of the reviewers who gave a lower rating commented on the strong flavor of the sage. My plant is still small, so I just used two small leaves for each chicken and that seemed perfect. My DH even said that it could have used more. So keep in mind, with sage, a little goes a long way. If you like sage, you will LOVE this dish. If you don't care for it, maybe just use a small amount.

Oh, one last thing. Anytime I make a dish, I usually cut the meat portions down to serve just 2 people since it's just me and my DH, but I usually make the full amount of sauce since my DH LOVES sauce. While making the dish, I noticed that I had a LOT of sauce though, so I quickly cooked up some spaghetti noodles. It ended being a perfect side dish! Seriously restaurant quality! Give it a try sometime and let me know what you think!

No comments:

Post a Comment