During the winter, my weekend lunches are spent mostly by the grill. With the wife working Saturdays, that leaves me lonely by the grill so I'm always looking for recipes that can easily be scaled down. This chicken involtini from Weber's Way to Grill was a perfect candidate since adjusting it to just one or two chicken breasts rolled with prosciutto, provolone, and basil is simple.
The only problem? I loved this recipe so much that eating it solo made me even lonelier—I just wanted to share it with someone else (luckily, I always have all of you). It tasted like a more complex, more delicious chicken parm. All the classic flavors were there—tomato sauce, cheese, chicken—but done in a more sophisticated way. The provolone was creamy with a little sharpness, the prosciutto nice and salty, and the chicken tender and juicy. When mixed with some marinara and basil, it had everything that makes a really plate-lickin' Italian-American meal.
About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.
- For the Brine
- 2 quarts cold water
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 1/8 cup white sugar
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 8 ounces each, tenders removed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 very thin slices prosciutto
- 4 thin slices provolone cheese, halved
- 8 large basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 2 cups good-quality tomato sauce
- Type of fire: direct
- Grill heat: medium
In a large bowl, whisk together ⅓ cup salt and white sugar in cold water until completely dissolved to make the brine. Place in chicken breasts in brine. Place in the refrigerator and let brine 30 to 60 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Place 1 chicken breast in a large Ziploc bag and seal. Using a the flat side of a tenderizer or rolling pin, pound chicken to 1/4 inch thick. Remove chicken from bag and repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
Season chicken all over with 1 teaspoon salt, granulated garlic, and black pepper. Lay chicken smooth side down and lay 1 piece of prosciutto, 2 half slices of provolone, and 2 basil leaves on top of each breast. Roll chicken into a tight roll and tie together each piece with 2 pieces of butcher twine.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill the chicken over medium heat, keeping the lid closed as much as possible, until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes, turning a quarter turn every 3 minutes. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes.
While the chicken rests, heat tomato sauce in a small pot over medium-high heat until warmed through. Remove the twine from the chicken pieces, cut into slices, and serve warm on a pool of sauce. Garnish with torn pieces of basil.