Real winner chicken dinners

I’m all about fancy looking meals.  You know what I mean, the one that looks like there’s a lot of hard work that went in, but not actually doing hard work.  This week I bring you a couple of chicken dinners that are a little out of the norm, something you can make for a certain Hallmark holiday that’s a mere few weeks away – if you have a certain someone who won’t let you replace a handful of already-dead flowers and a nine-dollar piece of folded paper with a great meal, that person is NOT your certain someone.  Just saying.

The original recipe says that it serves four, but my husband and I each ate two pieces of chicken and were still glad we had sides to eat.  I’d say this would make a romantic dinner for two, with some veggies and a side salad.  The only thing I really changed from the original is that I used red wine instead of white.  If you’re dead-set against cooking with wine, chicken broth is also recommended.  This dish dirties up one more pan than I normally would, but it’s worth it.

Easier than it looks.
Easier than it looks.

Chicken Roulade

  • 2 Cups (2 oz) baby spinach
  • 1/4 C finely chopped onion
  • 2 tsp. Olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/3 tsp. Red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. Chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 Chicken breasts, fully butterflied / 4 Chicken breast cutlets
  • 1/2 C red wine

Rinse spinach and place wet in a large skillet, cover and cook 2 minutes, tossing occasionally, until wilted.  Drain and squeeze out excess water, leaving about 1/2 C spinach.  Set side in small bowl.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, combine onion, 1 tsp. Oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon water.  Cook over medium heat 2 minutes, until sizzling.  Reduce to low heat, cover and cook for 3 minutes, stirring once, until softened.  Add to spinach, alone with Parmesan and stir, then set aside.

Sprinkle sun dried tomatoes evenly over smooth side of chicken.  Divide spinach mixture among the chicken, spreading to the edges of three sides, leaving space free.  Loosely roll up the chicken, wide end first, securing with toothpicks.

Add the remaining teaspoon oil to the large skillet and set over medium heat.  Place the chicken in the pan.  Cook, turning, for 10 minutes until golden brown on all sides.  Add broth (or wine) and cook over low heat for about 7 minutes.  Uncover and transfer chicken to serving platter.  Cover with foil to keep warm.  Boil the skillet juices for 5 minutes, reducing to a glaze.  Drizzle over chicken and serve.

I know I have a lot to learn about international cuisine (more reason to eat out, right?) but my best guess is that this dish is Indian or Middle Eastern inspired.  This dish is wonderful, and I’m so excited to share this with you. There’s quite a list of ingredients, but you do nearly NOTHING!!  It tastes great, it’s healthy, and it’s literally effortless.  This may be a perfect meal.  This dish only has 461 calories per serving and 4 grams of fat!  This is great with pita bread, though sadly the thought to put it in the picture was about the same time it was half gone.  Believe me, this is a meal that leaves no leftovers.

There's literally NOTHING TO IT!
There’s literally NOTHING TO IT!

Stewed Chicken and Chickpeas

  • 1 14 oz. Can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz. Can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 C water
  • 1 small bell pepper (any color) thinly sliced
  • 1/3 Cup halved dried aprcots
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground cinnamon or garam masala
  • Large pinch red pepper flakes (1/8 – 1/4 tsp)
  • 4 6 oz. Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 C low fat Greek yogurt
  • Parsley for topping (optional)

Combine the tomato sauce, water, chickpeas, bell pepper, apricots, garlic, garam masala (or cinnamon), red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large skillet and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Nestle chicken in the tomato-chickpea mixture; reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, turning the chicken once, until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Divide the chicken and tomato-chickpea mixture among plates, top with the yogurt and sprinkle with parsley and extra cinnamon/garam masala to taste.  Serve with pita wedges.

Tip of the week: If broken down into small enough steps, any recipe can be easy.