Spring chicken roll-ups with lemon dijon pan sauce
2 (6-ounce) pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 thin slices provolone cheese
4 thin slices prosciutto cotto
12 thin spears asparagus, trimmed of tough stems and blanched in salted water 2 minutes, drained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
240ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
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These bundles are a healthy twist to a Cordon Bleu chicken - ham and cheese stuffed breast meat breaded and sauteed.
Cook's Note: Some markets sell thin cut chicken for a premium price. With a sharp knife, cutting the chicken breast yourself is easy. When chicken is on sale, stock up. Plastic storage bags can be stacked and frozen. Each portion will thaw in minutes and ready to use for dinner any night of the week. Plus, by halving and pounding out the breast meat, you're stretching your pound and the meat to provide twice as many portions.
1) Halve the chicken breasts horizontally separating each into 2 cutlets.
2) Place each halved cutlet in an individual freezer plastic storage bag (with slider tab). Add a tablespoon of water to each bag and pound into1/2 cm thick cutlets.
3) Arrange the 4 cutlets on work surface. Season cutlets with salt and pepper on the side facing up. Cover each piece of chicken with 1 slice cheese and 1 slice ham. Starting on 1 side of the breast, place a small bundle of 3 asparagus spears. Wrap and roll the chicken around the asparagus. Wash hands.
4) Heat about 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, using tongs, add the chicken roll-ups to skillet with seam side down. Season the roll-ups with salt and pepper. Cover the pan loosely with tin foil and cook 4 to 5 minutes, turn roll-ups over and cook and other 4 to 5 minutes.
5) Remove cooked roll ups to a serving plate. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons flour. Stir in the chicken stock and Dijon mustard, scraping up any drippings from the bottom of the pan, and simmer 1 minute.
6) Remove from the heat, add the lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley and spoon over chicken.