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Empty Nest Chicken Rolls

It has been nine days since Jack started at the University of Alabama and 24 hours since Amelia returned to RIT. The nest is empty except for Izzy and her snoring keeps the silence from becoming deafening. Dinners have taken on a new meaning and geared towards a more flexible palate. No more rushing to get someone to work or practice or to the movies. It is silent and still. The kitchen no longer has chocolate milk and apple juice in the fridge and a plethora of snacks in the pantry is absent.

Tonight, is night one and we are branching out. Try this. Prep time is about 20 minutes and cooking time should be about 35 minutes. There is no crying is baseball or when you are cooking.

What you need:

  • 2 heads of garlic- smashed
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs. I know, I know. They are fatty, but they also grill beautifully and hold up in a Dutch oven like you read about.
  • 1 bunch of fresh sage leaves
  • 12-16 spears of asparagus
  • 4-6 slices of prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup of white wine, more if you like. (drinking it later)
  • Cooking twine- 4 pieces

What to do:

In a medium Dutch oven, add the butter and smashed garlic and heat slowly on low. Let it just sit.

Meanwhile go and heat up your outdoor grill. Get it nice and hot.

Now take the chicken and trim any excess fat. Open each thigh and lay flat. Build the rolls by placing 3-4 leaves of sage in the center. Then add 3-4 spears of asparagus. Now roll up. Then take the prosciutto and wrap around this delicious bundle.

Tie tight with twine.

Place these rolls on the grill for about 7 minutes each side until they change color and feel firm.

Bring them back in and place inside the Dutch oven that is now very aromatic with butter and garlic. It is pure heaven!

Turn up the heat and sear a bit on each side. Turn down the heat and add the wine.

Cover and simmer for about 35-40 minutes. You can add any leftover asparagus. I had some scallions, so I added them as well.

Keep an eye on this to be sure it doesn’t dry out. It shouldn’t but you could add some chicken broth if necessary.

Cook’s note: I had a package of mini gnocchi. I cooked about 2 cups in rolling salted water and added them to the pot to take on the flavor of the chicken.

Plate the chicken and gnocchi and enjoy with a salad and glass of Pinot Grigio.

I am feeling better already.

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