Chicken Rollatini with Spinach, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Fontina

The above picture contains neither turkey nor stuffing nor any sort of orange root vegetable.

It does, however, contain a member of the poultry family, a tomato stuffed with yummy things, and a [green] vegetable. Passes my test!

So, one of the hardest things about being in a long-distance relationship is never being able to spend holidays with Charlie or his family. We don’t live close enough to each other that we could visit both of our relations on the same day, and we’re both the oldest children in families that really value holiday togetherness–so for either of us to miss our individual family’s celebrations would be a big problem.

Solution? This year we had our own early Thanksgiving celebration! I’ve read about a lot of other bloggers’ Friendsgivings…I guess this was my Boyfriendsgiving. :)

This meal came together on the car ride to Stop & Shop and in the aisles of the supermarket, and I am super proud of our results! The chicken was moist and tender, and the stuffing was flavorful without any one element being overpowering–I could taste and appreciate each component. Plus, it was so much easier than I thought it would be…especially considering we had neither toothpicks nor cooking twine to hold the rolled chicken together. Ooops?

I had originally thought about doing the rollatini with ricotta or another soft cheese, but it was Charlie’s brilliant idea to do fontina. The roasted parmesan green beans were courtesy of a recent blog post from Skinnytaste and they are cheesygarlickydelicious.

And the stuffed tomatoes are a recipe that’s been percolating in the back of my mind for some time (not even kidding–I have a post-it note stuck to my computer at work that says “Stuffed tomatoes?” and it’s been staring at me, waiting for me to act on it). They’re not quite perfect yet–Charlie and I debriefed the final product and came up with a bunch of tweaks for the next time I do them–but never fear, the recipe will be surfacing in the near future. :)

I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving, or Boy/Girlfriendsgiving!)–my stretchy pants and I will see you again next week. I can hear my grandma’s roasted sweet potatoes calling my name already!

Chicken Rollatini with Spinach, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Fontina

Ingredients:

  • 1 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 8.5-oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes in herbs, julienned
  • 2 cups fontina cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4-6 boneless, skinless thin chicken breast tenderloins
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray or drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (we chose the EVOO method).

2. Liberally season both sides of each chicken breast with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Lay on baking sheet.

3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the thawed spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic powder, and grated fontina with a fork until the mixture adheres as a paste.

4. Place a portion of the mixture in the center of each chicken breast–about half a cup, or enough so that the mixture is evenly distributed among all of the pieces of chicken. Roll one end of the chicken breast over the top of the filling and layer the other end on top of that. Turn chicken roll-up over so folded ends are seam-side down and the chicken breast stays rolled up.

5. Grate a little extra fontina over the top of your chicken rollatini. Drizzle with some more olive oil for good measure.

6. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle when you cut into it. (We baked ours for 10 minutes and then rotated the tray and baked for another 7…this is because Charlie’s oven is too small for the baking sheet to fit horizontally–hah!)

Serve with some toasty garlic ciabatta bread and a fabulous rosemary olive oil dipping sauce. These rollatini also taste delicious reheated the next day for lunch with some of that aforementioned crusty bread on the side (I know from experience!).

(Note the cuts to make sure our chicken was cooked through! No food poisoning here.)

Where/with whom will you be spending the holiday this week?

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23 thoughts on “Chicken Rollatini with Spinach, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Fontina

  1. Oh man I could go for that chicken rollatini in particular. (It all looks great though).

    I understand how you feel about the long distance relationship. I spent a year in Japan teaching, Rachel stayed home in NJ attending grad school. We talked every day on the phone and email, sure, but holidays in particular were rough. I think I spent Thanksgiving 2004 at a boring conference in Japan – literally listening to a lecture while my family was back home eating turkey. Its rough. But your boyfriendsgiving sounds like a great idea (wish I thought of it at the time). Hope you have a wonderful week and a happy thanksgiving, even if separated

  2. What a great idea to celebrate together ahead of time! I met my husband in high school, so we are lucky that our families live close (across the street from each other now). We just moved 800 miles away from them though, so this will be the first year it will be our little family of 3. Very strange!

  3. I love multiple Thanksgivings! I am also lucky in that my husband and I grew up in the same hometown, so the stress of going home for the holidays is just how to split holiday time between both of our parents’ houses. (Sometimes simpler said than done!) We are going back for Thanksgiving, but will create our own holiday again (maybe in January when things calm down a bit)…mostly for the leftovers!

    • Ooh that’s a great idea! Charlie’s prone to ordering the Thanksgiving dinner at diners in the middle of the summer…I think he’d be up for a second holiday occurrence in the off-season, too, haha.

  4. This looks good and healthy! It literally made my mouth water, lol. My husband and I do a Thanksgiving Eve celebration because both of our families require us to be around on Thanksgiving Day. So great idea with the Boyfriendsgiving idea! We also do ” Christmas Adam” for the same reason:) probably gonna make this soon, thanks for sharing!

  5. Pingback: Slow Cooker Chicken Chilli

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