Savory Tuscan Chicken Rolls with Basil Pesto Genovese
Submitted by: Rodney Miller, Owner Carolina Cheese Company
“I’m a huge “Pesto Lover” and Tulkoff Food Products produces one the finest Basil Pesto I’ve tried. When designing my recipe, I wanted to create a versatile appetizer filling that could be used to create several finished products, depending on your event. I used the savory filling with mini puff pastry cups and sheets, egg rolls, spring rolls, and wontons. It may also make a savory and delicious Tuscan Chicken Quiche. In each, Tulkoff’s Basil Pesto Gennovese stands out with a rich, robust flavor.”
1/2 cup + 4 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, divided use
1 Shallot, minced
5 Fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp Marjoram
3/4 tsp Coarse black pepper
1/2 cup White wine, divided use (Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio)
3 Tbsp White wine vinegar
2 lbs. Boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1/2 cup Tulkoff Basil Pesto Genovese
1 cup Asiago cheese, coarsely grated
1 cup Romano cheese, coarsely grated
1/2 cup Sun-dried tomatoes, small dice ¼” (Not Dehydrated)
20 7 x 7 Egg roll wrappers
Oil for frying, (vegetable, peanut or canola)
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add 1/4 cup of olive oil. When oil is hot, add garlic and shallots, stirring to coat in oil. When shallots become translucent, add fresh basil, rosemary, marjoram and pepper. Continue to stir on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Remove from heat and scrape into a small bowl, set aside.
Place the sauce pan back on the burner and add wine over at medium- high heat to deglaze pan. When the liquid has reduced by approximately half, add to the bowl with the garlic, shallots and herbs.
In a medium mixing bowl, add 1/4 cup of olive oil. Wisk in white wine vinegar until incorporated, forming a yellow-green sauce. Add the garlic mixture and whisk together.
Add the chicken to the marinade and toss until the chicken is well coated. Transfer the chicken and any remaining mixture to a large freezer bag, letting as much air out as possible. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 24 hours.
Heat a large, heavy-bottom skillet with 4 Tbsp of olive oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard remaining marinade. When oil is simmering, add the chicken and cook on medium to high heat, turning once until cooked through. Remove the chicken and place on a sheet pan or platter and allow to rest at room temperature (save all juices).
Re-heat the same skillet used for chicken and when hot, deglaze with remaining white wine. Cook on medium heat for approximately 3-5 minutes. Pour over chicken. Rest at room temperature for 10 minutes then cover chicken with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from refrigerator and dice into ¼” sized pieces. Add to a large mixing bowl and pour any remaining juices over chicken. Add in cheeses and sun-dried tomatoes and mix until all ingredients are blended.
Take out a wonton wrapper and place it on a dry cutting board with a point towards you. Place a half-tsp of Pesto Genovese in the center of the wrap and spread it around the center. Place 4 oz of the chicken mixture in the center of the wrap. Using your finger, dab water on the edges and three corners, but not the corner pointing to you. Starting with the corner closest to you, roll up and over the chicken mixture, pinching and tuck the side corners in as you roll sealing off the mixture. Once both sides are securely tucked and sealed, finish the roll by rolling away from you until the far corner is sealed to the roll. Cover the finished rolls with a damp towel to keep them from drying out while you finish making the rolls.
In a deep fryer or deep-sided pot, heat at least 5 inches of oil to 350 degrees. Fry 3-6 rolls at a time, depending on the size pot you’re using. When rolls are golden brown, remove with tongs and place on a plate covered in paper towels to drain any excess oil.
After rolls have cooled slightly, cut in half on a diagonal and serve warm. Optional: drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar Glaze before serving.