Asparagus and Olive Chicken Roll with White Wine-Mushroom Pan Sauce
Today, my celebration of spring asparagus continues with this flavorful dish I created for supper last week.
This meal is more than worthy of dressing up and showing off at a supper with guests. Serve with a tangle of braised winter greens or a lemon-y cauliflower mash, or perhaps a fresh mixed greens salad with crusty bread or boiled baby potatoes.
It’s also easy enough to make for a weeknight meal, since it can be prepped partially ahead of time. Pound out the breast halves (or even quicker — have the butcher do it for you), roll each with the filling and pop into the refrigerator wrapped or covered with plastic wrap. The next evening all you need to do is let them rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then begin the cooking from there. Supper mastered.
So, before it’s replaced at the markets with sugar snaps and ears of sweet corn, grab a few more bunches of these slender stalks and give these asparagus and olive chicken rolls a try.
Tell me… Have you made stuffed rolls with chicken or other meats/fish, like beef rouladen or stuffed sole?
Blast from the blog past: A variation made years ago with asparagus, blue cheese and marmalade. I may need to revisit this!
- 16 to 20 thin asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely minced, divided
- 1 large sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped, divided
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (8 to 10 ounces each)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz button or crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (to yield about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 medium red onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil; salt and add asparagus, cooking for 2 minutes. Remove the spears to an ice bath for 1 minute, then drain and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the chopped olives, half of the minced garlic and half of the rosemary. Stir to mix; set aside.
- Cut each breast in half horizontally so you have 4 equal-sized halves. Set 3 aside. On your cutting board, cover 1 half with a large piece of plastic wrap or inside of a zipper-top plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, meat mallet or the bottom of a medium-sized pan, pound the breast half out to between 1/4 and 1/8-inch thick. Season on both sides with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, then set aside. Repeat with remaining 3 breast halves.
- Line up the pounded halves on your cutting board so the narrow end faces you. Place 1/4 of the olive-garlic-rosemary mixture halfway up each piece, and then top with 4 or 5 asparagus spears. Fold the bottom (narrow) end of the chicken breast half up over the filling to enclose it, then roll it into a tight cylinder. For extra protection, use toothpicks to secure the rolls.
- Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a medium-large skillet over medium heat. When hot, using tongs, place the chicken rolls evenly spaced into the pan, seam-side down. Cover loosely with an aluminum foil tent and cook 5 to 6 minutes. Using the tongs, gently turn each roll over and cook another 5 to 6 minutes, or until the chicken is mostly cooked through (cooking time may vary depending on thickness of your chicken pieces).
- Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the rolls to a plate. Loosely tent the plate with your aluminum foil, and set aside to make the sauce. (Don't fear the "mostly cooked through" comment -- there will be carry-over cooking as it rests in its tent.)
- Return the same pan to medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tsp olive oil. Cook the mushrooms, onions, reserved rosemary and garlic, and a pinch of salt for 2 to 5 minutes (depending on thickness of your veg slices), until the mushrooms and onions have softened. Add the wine and quickly scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the sauce is slightly reduced, 1 to 2 minutes. Quickly return the chicken rolls to the pan to re-warm, rolling around a bit in the sauce, about 1 minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer chicken rolls to each of your 4 plates. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning, as needed, with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.
+ For an equally as earthy twist on the herbs, swap out rosemary for 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves + 1/2 tsp fresh sage leaves.
+ For a brighter, spring-ier herb combo, opt for 1 tsp fresh basil leaves + 1/2 tsp fresh tarragon leaves OR chives + 1 to 2 tsp fresh lemon zest.
+ Further soften the flavors by using spring onions, ramps or baby leeks in place of the red onion.
+ Play around with different colors of olives -- green Picholine, Cerignola or Castelvetrano olives would fit in very well here! Oil-cured might be a bit too salty, but go wild...
+ Instead of the asparagus, use fresh haricots verts (French green beans).
Heather Goesch Nutrition recipe original.
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