I'm hesitant to admit this, but during my first year of college, I survived almost solely on ham and cheddar hot pockets, with the occasional pepperoni pizza thrown in for good measure. There was a vending machine in my dorm lobby, hot pockets being only one of its many choice selections. (If my parents only really knew where my "meal plan" money was going!) I still love a good ham and cheddar combination, only now I can enjoy it in a much more delicious way.
Thankfully, it has been almost a decade since I have eaten one of those cardboard calorie bombs. I'm sure I would be appalled at the taste (not to mention texture) now, but it's funny how a hangover back then managed to numb all of of my senses.
These chicken roll ups — or chicken "supremes" in my neck of the woods — are such a quick and satisfying dinner, no microwave required. I'm pretty sure they'll satisfy the 8, 18, and 50-year-old in all of us!
Chicken, Ham & Cheddar Roll-Ups
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fine bread crumbs
6 chicken breast cutlets (approximately 1 pound)
4 ounces thinly-sliced ham or prosciutto
6 ounces sliced cheddar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour the melted butter in the bottom of a shallow (8 x 11-inch) baking dish.
Have three shallow bowls (or cake pans) set aside. In one bowl whisk together the flour, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Add eggs to the second and lightly beat. Place the bread crumbs to the third.
Pat chicken cutlets dry. Cover each cutlet with a slice of ham and a slice of cheese, and roll tightly. Dip each chicken roll-up in the flour, shaking off the excess. Coat the roll-up in the egg, followed by the bread crumbs. Tie the roll-up with kitchen string or secure with toothpicks. Place in the prepared baking dish and repeat with remaining cutlets.
Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, basting with butter a few times, until chicken is cooked through. If the chicken is not golden brown, finish under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Remove the kitchen twine. Serve hot, with mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, if desired. (I like to mix the two, for dipping.)
• For a pizza roll up, use pepperoni and mozzarella instead of the ham and cheddar; top with marinara sauce.
• For an unusual twist, omit the cheese from the roll up and instead top with a homemade creamy cheddar sauce.
Related: Recipe: Herbed Panko Chicken
(Images: Nealey Dozier)