Whether you feel terrified, excited, or utterly ambivalent about moving to a new city, odds are, the prospect of making new friends sounds completely daunting. Thus was my experience upon relocating for my first post-college, real life, grownup job. I was lucky enough to have one awesome girl friend already living in the area, but was otherwise without peeps. Then, through the good graces of bocce (the game) I became friends with April (the person) who let me in on the best tradition ever. Girls night.
Without getting into all the girly details, the basic rundown is as follows: For something like 6 years, April has been hosting girls night every Tuesday, whereby an ever-changing cast of interesting women come by and hang out, talk about life things, drink wine (duh) and eat an always delicious home-cooked meal. Among my favorite GN meals are vinegar chicken, coconut rice and stir fry, and the infamous taco pie, which admittedly has a mixed reputation but I will defend it undyingly.
Though April has gone off to get married and live a blissful life down south, we still pull off the occasional girls night, including the one where I made this chicken:
I am a big sucker for baked stuffed chicken in all of its comfort-food glory. If you’re into it, here’s what you’ll need:
Time Commitment: T-minus 2 hours with prep, but worth it
- Six to eight thin-sliced chicken breasts. You can use thicker cuts if you’re comfortable slicing/pounding them to a quarter of an inch or thinner.
- 1 small head of broccoli
- 1 quarter of a medium white onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 fresh egg
- 6 thin slices of provolone or swiss cheese
- 6 thin slices of ham or prosciutto
- 1 half cup of whole wheat or italian style bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Optional herbification: I can’t say enough about rosemary, thyme, or sage in times like this.
- Brush a medium-sized glass or ceramic baking dish with olive oil
- Chop your garlic and onion into small pieces and put into mixing bowl
- Chop up the broccoli florets into small, coarse pieces and add to bowl
- Beat the egg in a separate bowl until whites and yolks blend together
- Add the breadcrumbs, egg, and a shake of salt and pepper to the vegetable mixture (engage optional herbification)
- Mix with rubber spatula until breadcrumbs are saturated
- Pre-heat oven to 375
- Lay out a chicken breast on your cutting board, keeping baking dish nearby
- If you’re feeling motivated, cover each piece of chicken with wax paper or plastic wrap, and pound even thinner. This will allow you more flexibility when rolling your chicken.
- Set aside one piece to begin with and place the short end toward you (pictured above)
- Place a slice of provolone cheese on top of chicken, followed by a slice of ham
- One inch from the short end of the chicken breast, scoop a heaping tablespoon of your broccoli/breadcrumb mixture
- Pull up on the edge and roll up away from you, wrapping the contents completely up
- Place in baking pan, and repeat with other pieces
Luckily, you’ll only be making 6 – 8. Did I mention girls night is big?
- Bake, loosely covered with aluminum foil for 50 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165
- Serve fresh out of the oven with rice and salad for best results!