Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Guest submission: Cheesy chicken rolls in sauce

This will be fun. Mary Beth has submitted pictures of a dish, and a .docx attachment explaining it.

At first I thought it would be fun to figure it out just from the pictures, but as it happens, I can't open a .docx document I have to try. (Mary Beth, you can paste the real story as a comment if you like. Apologies if I get this too wrong.)

First...chicken cutlets. They're thin and rollable. So I'm guessing we're going to roll something.

Ah yes. Little rolls of chicken, looks like black forest ham and cheese. A good Swiss? No, maybe Gruyere. Custom wooden pepper mill. Nice. And perhaps a personal stash of Fleur De Sel?

Now we are browning the little rolls. In a very nice Le Creuset I might add.

And browning...

And this looks like a vermouth to deglaze.

Yes! She's deglazing with vermouth. Very nice twist. I see some unused chicken back there. Hmmm.

Oh boy. Now we're in business. We're making a soup or a stew, or perhaps just a really yummy sauce.

Touchdown! She went for the milk. Or maybe even cream. One should always choose "option two" on the can's directions. Never choose option one. (water.)

It appears some bonus cheese and diced ham is going in.

Ah ha! And now we're adding heat. Too red for cayenne. I'm guessing a really good paprika.

Hmmm. Well, I think that's the extra chicken. Perhaps poaching in the soup/stew base.

A lid on the fire engine-red Crueset.

Ah ha! The chicken rolls have been returned and were simmering in that creamy, cheesy pot. Last picture. Served on rice, perhaps? Nice.


  1. From Mary Beth. Gosh. I'm pretty good!:

    My Comforting Christmas dinner

    Chicken Ham and Cheese Bundles

    Here’s the drill in my family, Christmas Eve is the big Ta-do at my sister’s house and it’s Beef Tenderloin and some sort of Au gratin potatoes and what not. It’s lovely and elaborate. Christmas Day is at my pad and it’s a small group and a lot of gifts. While we’re sorting out the gifts we’re having many snacks and cocktails. This doesn’t allow for me to be tending to all that much in the kitchen so it’s got to be a make ahead dish that’s easy and comforting. This year it’s my Aunt Sis’s Chicken with ham and cheese bundles. She didn’t call them bundles but I do .. cuz it’s Christmas!

    This recipe breaks no food barriers or any new culinary ground. But it’s good!

    I start with thin chicken cutlets. Sure, you can buy regular breasts and pound them and all that jazz but I avoid bits of flying raw chicken at all costs! I do not shy away from paying a premium for convenience!

    Lay a piece of chicken on your board and top with one piece of ham and one piece of cheese. For this I used a ham sliced from the bone that I got at the deli counter and sliced Gruyere. If you have left over ham and cheese save it for your sauce.

    Roll your bundles as best you can then secure the heck out of them with toothpicks.

    Season your bundles with salt and pepper. Heat up some olive oil over medium high heat and plop them in the pan.

    Get yourself a good brown on your chicken. Turn your bundles and let them brown on all sides as best you can.

    Could my bundles be browner? Sure. But hey I work at home and was cooking on my “break” so I was cutting corners!

    When your bundles are brown remove them from the pan and set aside.

    You should be left will all sorts of good bits in your pan. You need to deglaze that with a good white wine. But this is my Aunt’s recipe and I do like she did so I deglaze with Dry Vermouth. Stock Vermouth to be precise.

    Why does any one person have a 1.75 liter of Vermouth you ask? Because my husband does not know how to buy anything that doesn’t come in Vat size!

    See all those bits in the pan? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    Next you need 2 cans of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup. Told there were no food barriers broken here!

    Plop those in your pan and mix them up with your bits. You can also slosh out your soup cans with a little cream to get out all the remnants. I did so this time … cuz it’s Christmas. I also had 2 small pieces of chicken left over. They were runts and wouldn’t have made a good bundle. So I diced them up and threw them in the sauce too. Cuz it’s Christmas.

    Cook your soup down until it’s more like a sauce consistency. If you have extra ham and/or cheese throw them now. This makes the sauce extra good and cheesy which never hurts. ‘Cuz it’s Christmas!

    Season your sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Careful on the salt because you have ham and cheese involved here which impart loads of salt anywho. Also add in some hot paprika for color and heat. If you can HANDLE color and heat!


    Then get all your bundles back in the pool. Sure it’s crowded but hey they are all related and … it’s
    Christmas. Shove ‘em in there!

    Spoon some cheesy goodness over each bundle and put the hat on your pan.

    Don’t you love this pan? It’s the Le Crueset Buffet and it serves as both cooking and serving vessel. I love it. It was a gift – I’d never buy it for myself. But I love it. And it’s Christmas-y!

    Shut the door on your chicken until it’s cooked through. I’d say 30-45 minutes on low heat. You’re going to reheat too so keep that cooking time in mind.

    After about 40 minutes mine looked like this

    Mmmmmmmmm. Let it cool and pop it in the fridge until the big day. While it reheats in the oven or on stovetop you have time to do your mashed or rice and your veggies. I will be making both since I don’t like mashed and rice makes my mother choke! I Decided to avoid choking Ma on Christmas day.

    This dish is old school. It’s not fancy and it might not meet your holiday criteria but it’s good and yummy and comforting. I’ve been making this dish since I was in my early teens. When I first started making this dish my Mom was having friends over for a birthday dinner. It was my Godfather’s birthday so I volunteered to make this dish for dinner. I really set out to impress my guests. Silly me not really thinking, I used colored toothpicks. Note: NEVER USE COLORED TOOTHPICKS FOR THIS DISH.

    Merry Christmas to all………….