Sunday, March 01, 2009

Chicken Wrapped Asparagus with Lemon Cheese Sauce

2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
10 Asparagus spears about 5” to 6” long
4 strips fresh orange zest/peel (3 by 1 inch)
2 TBS of butter
2 TBS of olive oil


Lemon Cheese Sauce:

2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of hot milk (not boiling)
1 dash of salt
1 dash of pepper
2 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice


Heat oven to 400F.

Trim the asparagus to about 6 inches long. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place them on a cutting board. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet until thin, even and flat.

Lay 5 asparagus across the narrow side of 1 flattened breast. Add 2 strips of zest and wrap the chicken around the asparagus to make a bundle. Secure with toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining chicken and asparagus.

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet on medium heat, and sauté the chicken bundles 2 minutes on each side, seam down first to maintain the shape of the roll. Transfer the chicken rolls to a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet; cover with foil until ready for the final baking.

In the meantime, make the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Whisk in flour gradually and constantly until you have a paste (roux), gradually add the milk and cook over low heat, whisking constantly until thick and bubbling. Season with salt and white pepper.

Slowly add a small portion of the heated sauce to the whipped egg yolks to “temper” the yolks. Whisk constantly so the yolks do not cook or harden. Add the remainder of the hot/heated sauce; add cheese and lemon juice. Stir 2-3 minutes over low heat.

Brush the chicken rolls with the remaining butter/olive oil from the sautéed chicken rolls, and bake the chicken rolls in a pre-heated 400F.oven for an additional 12-15 minutes.

Spoon cheese sauce over the entire chicken roll. Serve with your favorite salad and dressing. Raspberry vinaigrette goes extremely well with this recipe.