Chicken Rollups with Blackberry Jam and Walnuts

The sweet and nutty filling in these chicken rollups makes a tasty little surprise for your friends and family…and they’re a cinch to put together.

Creating Easy (But Not So Common) Chicken Rollups

This recipe uses simple, familiar ingredients to make a tasty, slightly unusual dish that’s not too off the wall. It’s warm and inviting, and not something your guests may expect.

When you’re creating recipes, you don’t want to get wacky with odd ingredients, but’s it’s okay to be a little adventurous. In developing this dish, I knew chicken would be the base, but I wanted something “different” to pair it with. After deciding to use blackberry jam as one ingredient, I opened up the cupboard to find the other, and the fresh walnuts immediately caught my eye. Jam? Nuts? Of course.

Initially, I considered pureeing the two together with some balsamic vinegar to make a little sweet-and-tangy sauce to drizzle over the chicken breasts. But I decided to keep it very simple and let the sweetness of the jam and the earthy flavor of the walnuts be the stars of the show.

I served the rollups with an easy side of sauteed mushrooms and celery in olive oil.

(If you make this recipe, place the walnuts in a plastic bag and lightly pound them with a meat mallet to get finely crushed pieces. If you grind them in a processor, you may wind up with walnut butter…which doesn’t sound so bad….)

Chicken Rollups with Blackberry Jam and Walnuts

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6 tbsp seedless blackberry jam (depending on size of breasts)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lay the chicken breasts on a work service and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of blackberry jam on each and spread almost to the edges. Sprinkle each breast with 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of crushed walnuts.
  3. Roll up each chicken breast, tucking in the sides as you roll.
  4. Heat a heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat and add the olive oil. Place the chicken breasts in the skillet, seam-side down, and sear 3 minutes.
  5. Carefully turn each breast over and sear 2 minutes longer. (Don’t worry if the seams come apart a bit.)
  6. Remove the skillet from the heat and turn the breasts seam-side down again, tucking any loose ones back together. Pour the wine around the breasts and place the skillet in the oven for 10 minutes.

The jam that escapes into the skillet will mix with the wine and make a delicious caramelized sauce. Drizzle a little of it over the breasts before serving!

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