Chicken Involtini With Sage & Mortadella Recipe

What’s one to do when things shut down due to the Coronavirus? Try a new recipe! Last week will be remembered in Milanese history as the week the Coronavirus outbreak shut down the city and most of Northern Italy. It was a tense week as most folks stayed indoors, watching the news and trying to wrap our heads around what was happening. The week unfolded like a Sci-fi movie plot: no one in the streets, people stockpiling supplies, a rising death toll, and unscrupulous people taking advantage of others. So with more time on my hands and a desire to escape the constant barrage of bad news, I headed to the kitchen.

I enjoy exploring the world of the cucina Italiana. At times I feel like I’ll never reach its depths. There are so many tasty ingredients and delicious recipes to try. Circumstances being what there were though, I decided to be frugal and use what I had in the fridge and freezer: chicken, mortadella and Grana Padano cheese. Truth be told, list of ingredients didn’t sound too appetizing but nonetheless, I headed over to Giallo Zafferano and looked for something that might work, and work it did!

You can find the recipe in Italian here. The only modification I made was the omission of the Herbes de Provence (erbe aromaticche). I just didn’t have that ingredient on hand. Note: in the photos you’ll notice that I doubled the recipe.


Prep time: 20 minutes, Cooking time: 15 minutes, Servings: 4

4 chicken breast (thin cut or pounded)
100 g (1/2 cup) good quality Mortadella (about four slices)
2 tablespoons of Grana Padano DOP (grated)
3 sage leaves (diced)
Pepper to taste
1 pinch of Herbes de Provence (optional)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter

Good quality ingredients are always important. Can you see the pistacchio pieces in the Mortadella?

Grate cheese, dice mortadella and sage and mix in bowl to create filling. Use your hands to get ingredients to adhere a bit. At first I thought the mixture looked a little dry but once it cooks the Mortadella actually melts with the cheese and creates a smooth and tasty filling.

If you’re grocery store does not offer thin cut chicken breast, pound your chicken breasts into thin pieces, salt and pepper to taste. Dredge each piece in flour.

Spoon about a tablespoon or so of the filling onto each piece of chicken and roll up tightly and secure with toothpicks.

Heat your saute pan on a medium flame. Once your pan is heated, melt butter and add oil then add your involtini. Let your involtini sit tight until the bottoms are browned. Once the bottoms are nice and golden, brown on all sides (approx 8-10 total). Cover and let sit on a very low flame for another 4 minutes.

Here’s the finished product! Golden on the outside with a creamy filling on the inside. I added a little Italian parsley for color and served it with lemon risotto, a green salad and crisp white wine. Buon appetito!

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