Prep 1 hr
Cook 30 mins
This is my variation of a recipe found in the Houston Chronicle.
- 3⁄4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped medium-fine (To toast walnuts, place in 325 degree F oven for about 10-12 minutes, stirring to prevent scorching,)
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly packed,chopped
- 1 -2 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 lemon, zest of, grated
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened,divided
- 1⁄2 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon & herb seasoning or 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, fat discarded,washed,and patted dry (about 1-1/2 lb)
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 1 1⁄2 cups panko breadcrumbs (coarse Japanese breadcrumbs) or 1 1⁄2 cups regular dry breadcrumbs, if necessary,but try to find the panko if possible (can be found in most oriental markets and some supermarkets)
- additional salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 -2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (for frying)
- Finely chop walnuts and basil.
- Place walnuts, basil, garlic, lemon zest, 5 Tbsp butter, seasoned salt, and pepper in bowl of an electric mixer.
- Using paddle attachment, mix on medium-high until butter is fairly smooth.
- Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
- Form into an 8" long roll in plastic wrap, and place in freezer for about 20 minutes, then refrigerate until ready to use.
- Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap, and pound to about 1/4" thick or less.
- Try not to tear the chicken too much, but dont worry about it too much either.
- Place chicken breasts skin-side down, and place 1/4 of butter mixture on wide end of each breast, shaping butter into an elongated egg shape.
- Roll chicken breasts around butter, folding in ends as you go.
- If there are some splits in the meat, just overlap as you roll, and press to seal.
- Refrigerate rolls for at least 30 minutes, or place in freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- While chicken is chilling, season egg wash and panko with salt and pepper as desired, and set aside.
- Dip each chicken roll in the egg wash, drain off excess, and roll in panko, pressing on crumbs to make them adhere.
- Rolls should be well coated all over.
- Refrigerate rolls until ready to cook.
- All this freezing and/or refrigerating is just to keep the butter as cold as possible so most of it stays inside the chicken and bastes it internally.
- Preheat oven to 400 degree F, and spray a medium casserole or baking dish with nonstick vegetable spray.
- Heat olive oil and remaining 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- When very hot, add chicken rolls, and brown on all sides.
- Pay close attention; the panko goes from nicely browned to blackened very rapidly.
- Transfer rolls to baking dish as they brown.
- Drizzle drippings and crumbs from skillet over the rolls if desired, and bake to finish cooking for about 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to a warm platter or individual serving plates, and spoon drippings over top.
- Serve immediately.
- Serve with brown rice pilaf and a small tossed green salad topped with croutons and crumbled feta cheese, with a spicy vinaigrette dressing.