One of my favorite parts about cooking with wine is that it forces you to open a bottle that you can then enjoy as dinner is in the oven (…or with your meal if you’re the patient type!) I love this dish paired with a nice bottle of Italian wine, such as Montepulciano, Sangiovese, or Chianti, and a side of sautéed fresh spinach with roasted garlic. Yum!
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 15 minutes active, approximately 70 minutes total
4 chicken breasts
1 tsp. dried crushed sage
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
8 thin slices of prosciutto (or ham)
8 slices of provolone cheese
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
40 oz. tomato sauce
½ cup red wine
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread 4 tbsp. of tomato sauce into the base of a 9×13″ baking dish. Set aside.
2. Trim any visible fat off the chicken. Cut each breast in half crosswise. Pound to tenderize.* (See bottom for note.)
3. Lay the chicken on a flat surface, such as large cutting board. Sprinkle with sage, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Top each piece of chicken with one slice of prosciutto, followed by one slice of provolone cheese. Distribute the fresh spinach between all of the pieces of chicken.
4. Next, you’ll need to roll each piece up, lengthwise. Start at the skinny end (if one end is more narrow then the other) and work your way toward the wider end, rolling in a manner that is fairly tight and containing all of “fillings” (meat, cheese and spinach) within the roll. Secure with two toothpicks and place in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with all pieces of chicken.
5. In a large measuring cup, mix together the remaining tomato sauce, red wine, and EVOO. Pour over the rolled-up chicken. Bake at 375°F for 45-55 minutes, until cooked through.
*I find the easiest and cleanest way to tenderize the chicken is to line a cutting board with plastic wrap, place the chicken down, and cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Pound using a meat mallet or the base of an aluminum can, such as a can of black beans. I know it’s probably not the best idea in the world to literally hammer plastic wrap into raw chicken (my graduate thesis focused on the endocrine-disrupting properties of BPA), but I figure that it’s safer then spewing salmonella all over my kitchen. Life is full of tough decisions!