Whenever I start seeing someone, my blog inevitably comes up in conversation. Everyone always says "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" and I have found that to be true more often than not. Even if things don't end up working out, guys (especially guys who can't cook for themselves) usually find it very intriguing that I can cook. When it came time to show my skills, we were struck with a heat wave that made me want to do the bare minimum of cooking (hence my Curry Chicken Salad Recipe), but since the weather has cooled off, I wanted to show my skills. When it came time to figure out what to make, I realized most of the recipes I usually cook are quick and easy meals, nothing too impressive, so I turned to my friend Benny for help.
Benny is a fantastic cook, and he's amazing at coming up with decadent flavor combinations that are mind-blowing-ly delicious. He used the prosciutto, bleu cheese and fig combination when he made pinwheels, wrapping the trio in crescent roll dough for an appetizer. I decided to try wrapping chicken the combination in chicken instead, but what to have with it? He suggested an arugula salad with strawberries. Genius!
This recipe is pretty straightforward. The figs took a bit of time but it was well worth it. I cut them up, sauteed them in a bit of butter to caramelize them, and then put them in my food processor with a splash of olive oil to make a paste with them. I spread that on the chicken breasts first, then the prosciutto, and then bleu cheese crumbles. When rolling them, bits will fall out, it's inevitable, but they're pretty forgiving. You can always unroll them and re-roll them until you get them to look the way you want.
For the salad, toasted the walnuts, and made a balsamic vinaigrette dressing, but you could obviously skip these steps if you wanted to make it easier. In the cooking class I attended, I learned that a simple vinaigrette has a 1:3 ratio of acid to oil. I also learned that dijon mustard is a great ingredient to add as well. I ended up adding more balsamic than (probably more like a 1:2 ratio) but it came out wonderful. Really only a little more work than using bottled dressing, and who wants a million dressing bottles in their fridge?
Chicken Roll-Ups with Prosciutto, Fig and Bleu Cheese
2 regular chicken breasts, or 4 thin-sliced chicken cutlets
1 tablespoon butter
3.5 oz dried mission figs
4 slices of prosciutto
2 oz bleu cheese crumbles
- Cut chicken breasts in half to make 2 thinner cutlets. Pound cutlets until equal thickness.
- Chop figs and saute in butter on medium heat until plump and caramelized. Transfer caramelized figs to food processor. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Process until a paste forms.
- Spread fig paste on cutlets. Place 1 slice of prosciutto on each cutlet. Top with bleu cheese crumbles.
- Roll cutlets and insert toothpicks to hold.
- Heat a medium skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is heated, place roll-ups in pan and cover. Cook until done on one side (about 5 minutes), turn, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through (another 5 minutes or so).
- Serve immediately.