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When I was planning my Valentines' meal for this year, I wanted to do something I make a lot at home-- a rolled chicken breast filled with sundried tomatoes, basil, and fontina.  

Out of all those, all I had was the chicken breast.

The other ingredients were easy to find, but the tricky business would still be one of the crucial steps-- pounding out the breast with a meat tenderizer so it can be rolled up again into a parcel.  That was my stumbling block: how, in a college dormitory, would I make that happen?  

HERE'S HOW.  

Step 1: What You'll Need (but Might Also Have!)

Gather:
-- a chicken breast.  Mine's one that's been filleted, so it's really a third of a breast-- but it'd work just as well with a full.
-- a plastic bag (if you have it, clingfilm works better-- but only if you have it.)
-- something to fill your chicken up with (I used chopped spinach, tomato, basil, oregano, and hot pepper)
-- and a hammer!  See that big mallet there, that's mine.  You really just need something that serves the purposes of a) wield and b) hit.
-- string.  3 pieces, about 3-4 inches each.

Step 2: POUND.

Put the chicken breast into the plastic bag, and starting from the centre, pound it with the hammer using short blows.  I suggest doing this on a counter, a desk or, like me, the floor.  (Sorry, downstairs neighbours!)  Keep at it until the chicken's about a quarter inch thick, even all the way across.

Step 3: Roll!

Lay down your three bits of string on a plate, about an inch apart, and put the chicken down on top of them.  Add some of your filling-- no more than two tablespoons, so this beast doesn't get too thick when you try to roll it!  

I don't have pictures of the actual rolling because hey, my fingers were covered in chicken and I didn't want my camera to be as well.  But I'll explain.

Tuck in the two short ends towards the middle.  Using the string as a bit of an assist, roll the long ends together so that they touch and hopefully overlap; tie your string up niiice and tight around them.  Flip so that the "loose" side is on the bottom and season the "flat" side with a little salt and pepper.  

Step 4: Cook and Serve!

Fry your chicken pouch in hot oil, about a minute each side, or until the chicken is cooked through.  I did mine with some sauteed brussels sprouts and onion and some brown rice; lovely combo.  

And to think: you can do ALL THIS with...

THINGS FROM YOUR DORM.

(Oh, if I were a television instruction programme.  That is what I'd be called.)

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Bio: Hi! My name's Bekah. I'm 20 (just about 21) and I really like to cook. And bake. And just-- in general-- I like ... More »
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