A friend at work shared this with me and I had to try it. And she was right - it's super easy to do, looks a little bit fancy and was a huge hit with the kids.
What do you need?
- 100g proscuitto (or however you spell it)
- 2 skinless chicken breasts
- smooth ricotta (3-4 spoons)
- semi-dried tomatoes, probably about 1/4 cup
- fresh basil if you have it, finely chopped. (could probably substitute dried basil)
- salt and pepper to taste
- cooking twine
What do you do?
Pre-heat oven to about 170 degrees. Lengthways, cut each chicken breast so they are roughly the same thickness. Belt the chicken with a mallet or similar (I used a very heavy rolling pin) until the meat is reasonably thinner than it was. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper.
Now, you need to put it all together. Lay out a piece of baking paper (non-stick is best but use whatever you've got). Arrange the proscuitto in one layer, slightly overlapping as you go. Then, over the top of the proscuitto, arrange the flattened chicken in the opposite direction (ie. if you laid the proscuitto in a north-south direction in front of you, try to arrange the chicken in a east-west direction). You do this so that the chicken roll is a bit more stable when completed. Then spread the ricotta-tomato mixture all over the chicken.
Now you are ready to start rolling it up. Position the proscuitto-chicken in front of you so that it runs lengthways away from you. Using the baking paper to help you, begin rolling the chicken onto itself. It will probably only make one roll. The hardest bit (or so I thought) was tying up the chicken roll so that it won't fall apart while cooking. Start at the top end and wrap the twine around the top, tying it off with a knot (I think I used a granny knot or a reef knot - who cares, as long as it holds). Then keep looping it around so you go down the chicken roll. It does get a little bit messy but it's not too bad. You do need a bit of twine for this, I suggest at least 3 times the length of the chicken roll. When you have finished, it will look something like this ...
If you want to make it a more flavoursome, use regular bacon instead of proscuitto. It'll be a lot fattier though. The preparation of the chicken roll probably took me about 10-15 minutes and using the cooking twine was much easier than I expected.
I made this over the weekend and it was a huge hit with the whole family. I have already been asked when can we have it again. :)