Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chicken Braciolettini with Mushroom and Wine Sauce

Blogging has become a bit of an addiction for me. I dont mean my own blog (if you notice Ive been slacking there a bit) but reading blogs. Currently I have 265 blogs in my google reader. I know, its insane. Whats even more insane is that I comment on a lot of them. Not every time but I have at least commented a few times on every blog I read. I want people to know that what they are doing isnt for nothing and someone is out there is reading....especially since Ive learned recently that even though I may get lots of positive feedback there will always be a few people who are unhappy and will let me know. The point Im trying to get to is that when I read all 265 of those blogs, I come across a lot of cookbook suggestions.I started jotting them down and came up with a nice Christmas wish list. Lucky for me, I got most of them! Tonight I made a recipe from one of those cookbooks, The North End Italian Cookbook by Marguerite DiMino Buonopane. Out of all the cookbooks I received, this one reminds me the most of old school Italian cooking and so of course, it reminds me of my grandmother.  I know shed like this recipe as long as I left out the butter.  She claimed she was allergic but Im not so sure that was true.   Nanny was funny like that.                                                                                                                                         The dish was delicious and I only made some minor changes.  I used two cloves of garlic instead of one, I used chicken cutlets instead of breasts, used half the amount of butter, and used a little less Romano cheese than called for.  Since I used cutlets the chicken wasnt as big so I didnt think I needed that much cheese.  Next time Ill use half the amount of wine because it was really strong and I had to dilute it with chicken stock.   Thats why its always very important to taste as you go along and you cant hold a recipe to timing and  amounts.  Using a different size pot or pan could  change the cooking time, using a different brand of stock or wine could change the flavor as well.

Chicken Braciolettini with Mushroom and Wine Sauce
by Marguerite DiMino Buonopane

Serves 6 (If using small chicken cutlets like I did, youll want to serve two per person)


6 large boneless chicken breasts
1 large garlic clove
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/4 pound shredded mozzarella or fontina cheese
1/4 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)
6 thin slices prosciutto or ham
1 stick (1/2 cup butter)
1/4 cup oil
1 cup Madeira or Marsala wine
1/2 pound whole button mushrooms or thinly sliced large mushrooms


1.  Have butcher pound the meat slightly to break the tendons, or use the flat side of a heavy meat cleaver to do so yourself. 

2.  Lay the flat pieces of chicken on a smooth clean surface.  Using a garlic press, squeeze the garlic clove.  With your fingertips, transwer these particles to the cutlet pieces.  Sprinkle black pepper, grated cheese, shredded cheese, and parsley all over the chicken.  Cover each breast with a slice of prosciutto or ham.  Roll each breast jelly-roll style, carefully tucking in all loose ends.  Secure with toothpicks (use the same number for each breast).

3.  Heat the oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken breasts and brown well all over.  With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a baking pan.  Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven or until the chicken is cooked moist-tender.

4.  To make sauce, drain the fat from the skillet and return unwashed pan to stove an medium heat, scraping all browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon.

5.  Raise the heat to high and pour in the wine, stirring well.  Add the mushrooms and cook 1 more minute, shaking skillet.  If the sauce appears to thin, sprkinkle with some flour and cook, stirring well until reaches your desired thickness.  If more sauce is desired, add some chicken broth and more wine.

6.  Remove the chicken from the oven, carefully remove all toothpicks, and transfer to a warm serving platter.  Pour the hot sauce on top.  Sprinkle with the reserved tablespoon of chopped parsley.  To serve cut meat in thick slices and coat with sauce and mushrooms.

Authors Note: If using small pieces of chicken breasts, it will not be necessary to bake the chicken.  Simple cook in skillet as directed, transfer to a warm platter, and prepare sauce.

My Note: If using chicken cutlets, make sauce then add rolls back to sauce, toss to coat.  Put cover on and allow to cook for approx 10 minutes (depending on thickness of chicken) to cook chicken through. 

I didnt slice the chicken since they were small but served two over a bed of risotto topped with the mushroom sauce. 

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