Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Three-Cheese Chicken Cannelloni

My friend Corinne came to visit me for the 4th of July weekend! We always love cooking dinner together and wanted to try a new recipe so we tried this Hungry Girl recipe. However in typical Heather fashion I changed things up to my liking! :) The recipe sounded yummy and I figured it'd be good but nothing exciting but let me just tell you....it ended up being sooo delicious!! It was super flavorful and the chicken was crazy moist. I made it again the next night because it was so good!! I'll address the "changes" I made below...

Three-Cheese Chicken Cannelloni

PER SERVING (1 stuffed cutlet, 1/2 of recipe): 274 calories,

3.5g fat,

647mg sodium, 12g carbs, 2g fiber, 6g sugars, 43g protein

Pasta is passé (and starchy!). We like our cheesy filling rolled up in

CHICKEN! And we know you will too.

1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach
1/4 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1/3 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
2 tsp. reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
1 tsp. chopped garlic, divided
Dash nutmeg
Dash each salt and black pepper, or more to taste

Two 5-oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast cutlets
3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes

1 tsp. dried minced onion

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 stick light string cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place spinach and mushrooms in a microwave-safe bowl.

Microwave for 1 minute, until softened. Blot thoroughly,

removing excess liquid. Add ricotta cheese, Parm-style topping,

1/2 tsp. garlic, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Place one
chicken cutlet in a large sealable plastic bag and,

removing as much air as possible, seal bag. Carefully pound

chicken through the bag with a meat mallet or heavy can,

until uniformly about 1/3-inch thick. Repeat with second cutlet.

Lay cutlets flat and spread evenly with veggie-cheese mixture.

Starting with a longer side, roll up one cutlet (not too tightly

or the filling will ooze!), and secure with toothpicks. Place in

a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Repeat with second

cutlet. Cover pan with foil.

Bake in the oven for
20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, Italian

seasoning, and remaining 1/2 tsp. garlic. Mix well and set aside.

Break string cheese into thirds and place in a food processor or

blender -- blend at high speed until cheese takes on a shredded

or grated consistency. (Or just tear string cheese into pieces and

roughly chop.) Set aside.

Remove pan from the oven, and carefully remove foil. Spoon

seasoned tomatoes equally over chicken, and sprinkle

shredded/grated string cheese evenly over tomatoes. Return

to the oven (uncovered) and bake for 15 minutes, or until chicken

is cooked through and cheese on top has melted. Remove toothpicks

and enjoy!


-Instead of using frozen spinach, I used fresh spinach. Microwave it with the mushrooms until the spinach is cooked and it worked great (I placed a touch of water in the bowl when I microwaved and it took ~2min)
-I used the minced garlic from a jar but I think fresh or jar would work. I just find it easier and actually really like how the flavor blends in the whole dish a little more
-I ALWAYS use shredded parmesan, never grated. I'm not a fan of parmesan powder! In fact in previous posts I think I've mentioned I use Kraft Shredded Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago
-Didn't use nutmeg because I didn't have it and wasn't going to buy it just for a "dash"
-Who needs to use minced onion when you can use SHALLOT! I'm pretty sure I've addressed my love [obsession] with shallot in my blog before. Instead of using the minced onion, I sauteed some diced shallot in a little of olive oil w/ just a sprinkle of kosher salt. I would use ~1/2 of a medium shallot for the recipe but I used 1 medium shallot since I made extra sauce
-I made some extra tomato sauce and we did cook up some whole wheat angel hair pasta on the side...I know the concept of the recipe was for no pasta but that's okay, everything in moderation! Although I will say the chicken serving was very large and I didn't need much pasta on the side to fill up. We also had a salad to start while the chicken was cooking (we were drooling and couldn't stand the wait!) The extra tomato sauce was perfect for the side of pasta and for the next night when I made the chicken again!
-We didn't put the string cheese in the food processor...we just tore it into strips and sprinkled some parmesan on the top as well. I already had string cheese so we just used that but you can use part skim mozzarella too


Connie said...

Oh, YUMMMM...will try this one for sure.

PS...also a shallot lover!

The Pittman's said...

Oh this is such a good recipe, I'm def going to try it!