This was the first entree my daughter Emma and I made in our Cooking School, which I write about on my blog/site unconfidentialcook.com. Not only is it a lot of fun making the rolls and skewering them, this is one delicious dish. We make it a lot—I just don’t recommend fixing it for a crowd because those spitini, though not the least bit difficult, do require painstaking attention. If you figure about five per person/skewer that’s a lot of rolling. Also, I suggest stocking up on bay leaves when you see them on sale. The recipe calls for a bay leaf between each roll, those small spice bottles don’t hold that many and some are cracked or broken–the bay-leaf cost can add up. The original recipe calls for veal, not chicken (I can’t bring myself to eat those babies), and came from my college roommate’s grandmother, who emigrated to the United States from Italy and spent her life cooking for her daughter and granddaughter (both lived with the grandparents, Italian-style). She was a great natural cook, and my roommate was anorexic. Go figure.
1 1/2 pounds chicken
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs (1 1/2 cups plain crumbs, with 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan, 1 teaspoon minced Italian parsley, 1 clove minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste)
1/4 pound salt pork, cut into thin strips
1/4 pound provolone, cut into thin strips
Bamboo skewers (at least 6 inches long)
Salt and pepper
Cut chicken into 2-inch strips (about 2 inches by 3 inches) and pound until thin. Brush with melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Take 1 to 2 pieces of salt pork, 1 to 2 pieces of provolone, and lay them on one end of the chicken strips. Roll tightly. Skewer with a bay leaf between each piece. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and broil for up to 8 minutes. Turn and repeat.