Petti di Pollo Ripieno alla Griglia
Region: Italy, Campania
Difficulty: Labor Intensive
In the region of Campania, in older times, rural folks always had chickens running around their yards and gardens and the popularity of egg and chicken recipes abound. In this delightful recipe, an involtini or roll-up, a flattened chicken scaloppine stuffed with a mixture of fresh bread, nutmeg, garlic, and mortadella, and wrapped in pancetta is grilled over hardwood charcoal. It’s delicious with Grilled Polenta (see below).
[photo: Clifford A. Wright]
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
4 boneless and skinless chicken breast halves (1 to 1 1/4 pounds total)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
About 1/2 loaf Italian or French bread, white part only, ripped into small pieces (about 3 cups)
3 ounces mortadella, chopped
Pinch of grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 pound pancetta, thinly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
1. Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on medium-high.
2. Place the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of wax paper and flatten with a mallet or the side of a heavy cleaver until they are about 3 x 5-inch scaloppine. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts to taste.
3. Prepare the stuffing by kneading the bread, mortadella, nutmeg, parsley, garlic and eggs together in a mixing bowl. Divide the stuffing into quarters, and place each quarter of stuffing on one end of the flattened breast, and roll up. Wrap the breasts in pancetta, securing the pancetta and the ends of the roll ups with toothpicks.
4. Drizzle the roll ups with olive oil, place on the grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.