Involtini, or braciole in some regions, is common throughout Italy. It involves thinly pounded meat that is stuffed, rolled, browned, and then simmered in sauce. The meat, stuffing, and sauce vary from one recipe to another, ranging from beef in tomato sauce to chicken in white wine sauce, but the results are always delicious. This particular involtini recipe is creamy, tender, and flavorful.
I love cooking with warm flavors and making hearty meals as the leaves change color and say goodbye to the heat of summer. I came up with this mushroom gravy recipe a while back and perfected the flavors … so much so that you may want to eat it all by itself! I started with an Italian classic, involtini, but used chicken and stuffed it with thinly sliced imported mortadella, fontina, and fresh asparagus spears. It's so easy to prepare, you can assemble it ahead of time, then just bake it for a few minutes when you're ready, and you have a fantastic fall meal for your guests to savor.
- 1 1/2 lbs fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 large shallots, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 cup chicken stock or more if necessary
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
In a large 12-inch sauté pan, cook the butter and shallots over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are very soft and translucent.
Add the mushrooms and sauté until they soften and become brown and the juices evaporate, about 15 minutes. Gradually sprinkle in the flour and stir continuously to incorporate until it turns brown, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock and stir continuously. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook on medium-low heat for an additional 10 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste and set aside to serve with the involtini.
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Parboil the asparagus in boiling salted water for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender but not completely cooked. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Place each chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound until they are 1/4-inch thick with the flat side of a mallet. Cut the mortadella and fontina slices in half so that they’re slightly smaller than the chicken slices. Season both sides of the breasts with salt and pepper.
Lay a slice of mortadella (2 halves) and then a slice of fontina over each piece of chicken. Place two asparagus spears in the middle of each piece of chicken, with the tips hanging out of the sides. Roll up each chicken breast and secure the ends with two bamboo skewers.
In a 12-inch sauté pan, heat the butter and olive oil and fry the rolls over low heat for about 2 minutes on each side, turning frequently, until they are a light golden color. Transfer to a lined sheet pan and finish cooking in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
Transfer to a serving plate, add plenty of the mushroom gravy, and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Remove the skewers before serving.