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Thursday, 7 March 2013

Cream Cheese Chicken Roll-Ups

Days off in my world almost always involve time spent in my kitchen and today was no different. I had some skinless boneless thighs that were screaming for a special recipe. Add spinach and cream cheese, and these beauties were born. This is pretty enough to serve to company, and pretty darn easy to throw together for dinner on a weeknight. I pounded my chicken (well, Jim did the actual pounding…) on a baking sheet under parchment paper. You will want it fairly thin, but evenly pounded to make rolling easy. 

Cream Cheese Chicken Roll-Ups

8 skinless boneless chicken thighs, pounded thin
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups finely chopped mushroom
4 cups chopped spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup organic cream cheese
2 cups of chunky tomato sauce
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté onion mushroom and garlic in pan with the butter until they start to soften and brown a bit. Add spinach, stir in, and turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add cream cheese and stir to combine.  Let cool slightly.
Divide mixture evenly between the 8 pounded chicken thighs and spread along the whole length , and roll up like you would a cinnamon roll. Place rolls carefully in a 9x13 baking dish. Cover with tomato sauce, and bake, uncovered at 400F for 45 minutes or until cooked thru.  Serve along with sautéed zucchini noodles.

For Zucchini Noodles:

2 small to medium sized zucchinis
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter or coconut oil, mixed with one clove of minced garlic

Prepare your zucchini noodles while the chicken is in the oven.  I use my very cool spiral slicer to slice the zucchini. (a mandolin, or julienne peeler will make the “noodles” as well) 
Place the spiraled zucchini on a few layers of paper towel. Sprinkle with salt, and let sit for about 1/2 hour, to “sweat” (the salt helps it release excess moisture). Place a few more layers of paper towel over top and then roll up (again, like a cinnamon roll) and squeeze gently to absorb the released moisture.  Sauté the noodles in  a nice hot pan with some coconut oil or garlic butter until hot and sizzling, about 5 minutes.  Top with pan juices from the chicken, and a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan.

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