Pounded Chicken Breast with a Fontina/Asparagus Center


Pounded Chicken Breast with a Fontina/Asparagus Center


Despite three months of continual rain, some of the asparagus managed to survive, and I'm starting to see bundles of gorgeous green shoots at the market. In this recipe, you'll pound out a chicken breast and cover it with grated fontina, capers and blanched asparagus spears, then roll it up and cook it for a beautiful and very "springy" dinner.


1 large (8-10 ounce) chicken breast
1 heaping tablespoon capers
3 asparagus spears, blanched and cooled
1/2 cup grated fontina cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Mixed baby greens
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, for garnish
Toasted black sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

How to Serve:

Lay the chicken breast on a hard work surface or cutting board. With your fingers, open up the breast until it lays flat. With a small paring knife, make several shall cuts into the breast to encourage it to flatten even further; cover with a layer of plastic wrap. Using a mallet or the back surface of a saucepan, flatten the meat until it is about 1/2-inch thick. Remove the plastic wrap.

Sprinkle the breast with cheese and capers, leaving about 1/2-inch of clear space around the sides. Lay the asparagus spears lengthwise across the chicken.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and mustard; when a creamy mixture forms, add the lemon juice and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the mixture atop the chicken breast. Carefully roll the chicken up, lengthwise, taking care to seal the edges with the tip of your finger. If the "roll" seems shaky or likely to fall apart, tie a piece of cooking twine around each end to keep it together.

There are several options for cooking. If you want a crispy crust on the outside, you may fry the chicken in 2-inches of vegetable oil for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the meat turns golden brown and crispy around the edges.

If you want a light, delicate texture, you may steam the roll by placing it in a bamboo steamer over a skillet of boiling water. If neither of those options sound appealing, simply warm two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over high heat and sear the chicken on both sides, then lower heat to medium and cook through.

When the roll has finished cooking, remove from heat and place on a clean cutting surface. Slice the roll in half crosswise, then slice each half diagonally along the length. This will create four beautiful diagonally-shaped pieces.

Place a heap of mixed greens on each plate, and arrange two pieces of stuffed chicken breast on each plate. Arrange the tomatoes around the edges, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Enjoy immediately!

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