About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Grilled Chicken alla Diavola | Main | Sautéed Fillets of Breast of Chicken with Lemon and Parsley, Siena Style »

Rolled Fillets of Breast of Chicken with Pork and Rosemary Filling


Yesterday, in response to Sandi's post, Marcella responded with:

'I hope we are getting out of the chicken chapter so that I don't have to hear the expression "chicken breast" again.'

In that case I may as well pack my pots and pans away . . . or as some might say, stick me with a fork for I am done.

Why the doom and gloom?

Because today's recipe FORCES me to use the offending 'cut of chicken that shall not be mentioned in this post'. It is the prime ingredient in this recipe. I can't substitute it with a cut of chickent that I'd rather have appear on my plate.

Somehow we North Americans have bought the notion that the 'offensive cut of chicken' is healthier than other cuts of chicken (I do hope it is OK to say chicken). I'd far rather cook with other cuts of chicken. The 'cut not to be named' is often dry and bland - which is likely why so many recipes call for it to be served with a full-flavour marinade, sauce, salsa, or rub - anything to get some flavour on that hunk of boring meat sitting on your plate.

Then our chickens are pumped so full of hormones and additives to plump up that part of the 'chicken that shall not be named' that those birds can't even wander about without toppling over - not unlike a D grade starlet with ginormous implants who prior to Justin Beiber was Canada's most famous addition to American pop culture.

Yes, Deborah, that Beiber comment was put in after your anti-beiber facebook post yesterday. We Canucks stick together even if we despise one another. "tis the Canadian way. Malign a Canadian and you malign all of us unless you malign Stephen Harper in which case the good Canadians LOVE ya' like biscuits love sausage.

Hmmm - this post wasn't meant to be a post about 'a cut of chicken that shall not be named' followed by a wee Canadian meander . . . but isn't it fun how my twisted mind just flops about like a leave in the wind?

I shall blame my errant youth, yes, I shall.

Back to the food - which was brilliant by the way. Simply brilliant. I am going to become so redundant mentioning what a master Marcella is that I shall soon use up my supply of superlatives. I believe we are getting closer to the half way mark in our challenge and I must dash to 'Superlatives-R-Us' so that I can report back on the remaining recipes.

So today's recipe calls for two whole cuts of 'the chicken part that shall not be named'. One fillets them, following the wonderful directions on pp 389 - 399 (really, if the written directions are this good I can only imagine the sheer bliss of working in a kitchen with Hazan as an instructor).

Once the fillets are prepared the filling is next up. I suspect that in Italy cooks would use sausage. Given the over-spiced and additive rich nature of 'our' Italian sausage which would likely cause a true Italian cook to thrash about in their bed at night, Marcella rightly directs one in the steps to make a sausage-like filling that is sheer simplicity itself with garlic, pork, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary.

The filling was amazing. Yes. I 'tasted' it so much that I almost didn't have enough to stuff the damn fillets.

The pork filling is spread over the fillets. They are rolled up and secured with a toothpick (or two if the 'cut of chicken that shall not be named' is so hormone-laden that the fillets are clearly double ds.

Once prepared, the rest of the cooking comes together quickly. The rolls are cooked in butter until cooked through (my rolls, being double ds, required far more than the 'about one minute altogether' cooking time suggested in the recipe).

The pan is deglazed with wine making a simple pan sauce which is served with the chicken rolls.

For some reason we decided on an Italian feast last Saturday night. No doubt it was an anti-renovation effort to try and return some comfort and simple sanity back to our lives. We enjoyed these rolls with the baked red beets which I will post about in March of 2011 (and yes, my cookbook is now covered with beet finger prints - SIGH), the fried fennel which I will post about in February 2011, a simple green salad, and the amazing roasted potatoes that our friend Judy Witts Francini showed us how to make when we cooked with her in her Florence kitchen a few years back. Dessert was simple - cannoli we bought in an old Italian bakery we discovered in the middle-of-nowhere in Toronto while we were shopping for new bathroom lights.

Everything was very, very good but these chicken rolls were simply incredible. Even though they use 'the cut of chicken that shall not be named' the final result is worth it!

Thanks again Marcella - you certainly have a way with chicken . . . and pasta . . . and veal . . . and fish . . . and everything! *smile*

Comments (4)


You crack me up!

I always look forward to your posts Jerry, and once again, you did not disappoint!

Marcella's directions for filleting the breasts are amazingly instructive. Is the recipe for chicken breasts Senese style in "Essentials"? I can't recall, it is another winner which uses the same filleting technique.

Great job!

Jerry, I do believe this renovation project has unhinged you just a wee bit. LOL
How you got from chicken to Justin Bieber, is a mystery.

Marcella Hazan:

Jerry, I wish I'd had a few more students like you in my classes. Many were wound up so tightly that I had to control myself not to tickle them. The chicken breast question arises because i adore chicken - the tasty other parts - and always wondered why we couldn't have raised chickens with shapes like those of some women, flat in the chest and broad in the thighs. I have tried to do the best with what I have been given, and also to devise some chicken dishes that might temper my husband's unforgiving hostility toward fowl. That explains why there are chicken breast recipes in the books, and why I went to considerable trouble to instruct my readers on how to elevate the lumpish breast into slim and tasteful fillets, as Susie L. observed. As for my husband, I have long ago retired from that specific crusade. Thank you Jerry for your wit and for being a true cook.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 2, 2010 5:09 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Grilled Chicken alla Diavola.

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