Guys! Hey, hey guys! This recipe is REALLY GOOD!
I mean of COURSE I wouldn’t put it up on the blog if it was anything but. But I’ve gotta be honest - a lot of my kitchen experiments lately have gone south (#masterchef). Maybe I’ve been a little ambitious? I mean, homemade grain-free pasta without a pasta machine? Oye. If the worst feeling is thinking you are going to create something great and blog-worthy and it ends up a total flop, then one of the best feelings is thinking you are just going to cook lunch for just yourself but it ends up being good enough to share with the Internet.
This recipe is packed with flavor with a relatively simple preparation. I was hesitant to make a mess of my kitchen by getting out wax paper and 3 different bowls for the dredging process, but I only spent about 15 focused minutes to go from setting up to getting the rollatinis in the oven. They take only ~30 minutes to bake, making this a great weeknight dinner option. Easy enough for the everyday, but presentable enough for company!
Almond Crusted Pesto Chicken Rollatini
Thinly pounded chicken breasts or thighs are given the royal treatment with a cheesy pesto stuffing and a crunchy almond crust. Everyday ingredients combine in a surprising way to make a dish packed with flavor.
1 package boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, about 4-5 pieces
1 small jar pesto (making your own is a great option too!)
4 ounces fresh feta, local if possible (substitute some shredded Daiya cheese for dairy-free)
½ cup tapioca starch
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sliced almonds, pulsed into small crumbs with a food processor or blender
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place chicken pieces between two large pieces of wax paper. Place a kitchen towel over top of the wax paper, and use a meat mallet or heavy kitchen utensil to pound the chicken pieces to about ¼ inch thickness. Remove the kitchen towel and top layer of wax paper. Spread 1 tablespoon of pesto on each chicken piece, then sprinkle with about 1 ounce of feta. Tightly roll up each chicken piece and secure with a toothpick or two.
Set up 3 small cereal bowls in your workspace. Place the tapioca starch in the leftmost bowl, the eggs in the center bowl, and the almond pieces, thyme, oregano, and garlic powder in the rightmost bowl. Season the contents of all 3 bowls with salt and pepper and give a quick stir with a fork to incorporate. Get a 13x9 baking dish ready by drizzling the bottom with some olive oil.
One at a time, take a chicken rollatini and dredge in tapioca starch, then dip in the egg wash, and lastly roll in the almond crumbs. Place rollatini seam side down in the greased baking dish. Repeat with each chicken piece. Drizzle each rollatini with a little more olive oil. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the center of a rollatini registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer. Serve alongside a heaping serving of dark salad greens with red wine vinaigrette.