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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Italian Chicken Bundles

Here's something most of you might not know about me:  I used to be a personal chef.  I actually had my own business called "In Your Kitchen".  I would go to people's houses and cook meals that could be frozen and than later reheated and enjoyed.  I spent about 8 hours at their house cooking, but when I was gone, their was no sign I was there except 2 weeks worth of dinners in their freezers.  Those dinners were left with instructions on how to properly thaw and reheat each meal.  Yep, that's very own personal chef business.  Why am I not still doing it?  Well, at the time I was living by myself, working a full time job, and trying to cram in as many clients as I could on a weekend so that I could still pay all my bills....and well, I'll be honest...I started to hate it.  I was spending my entire time off cooking for other people and it became a job.  I was making no time for myself and I started to not look forward to cooking.  I knew I didn't want to continue if it was something I was going to hate.  So, I stepped back, re-evaluated things, and decided that I needed to put the personal chef business on hold until a time came where it could be my only job.  As time has gone by, I have considered starting it up again, but now I believe that I need more schooling to be the actual personal chef I really, truly, know I can be.  Maybe some day that time will come, but for now, I am happy just having a large collection of recipes from the United States Personal Chef Institute at my fingertips!

This recipe is one that comes from that collection.  I have a few favorites, of course, and this would be one of them.  I just like the convenience of being able to freeze them.  I like that they are in little pouches of crispy goodness.  I like that they are versatile; you can truly put whatever ingredients you want in there.  And of course, I like that it really takes no time at all to make.  Oh, and let's not forget the taste.  I LOVE the taste.  It's just a good mix of creamy cheeses, flavorful chicken, and a crispy outside texture.

P.S....check out the one year ago link at the end of this post...some good ideas for this years Super Bowl party!!
Italian Chicken Bundles
Adapted from the United States Personal Chef Institute
Printable Recipe 
1 1/2 cups chicken (cut into small bit sizes pieces)
3 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese (you could use grated)
3 Tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
10 egg roll wrappers
Tomato Sauce (homemade or store bought)
additional parmesan or mozzarella cheese for topping if desired

Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder.  In a non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  To the skillet, add the parmesan, mozzarella, cream cheese, oregano, and nutmeg.  Stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using a 12 cup muffin tin, brush half of the melted butter into 10 of the 12 cups.  Carefully press one egg roll wrapper into a muffin cup and fill with the chicken mixture.  Close the wrapper over the filling and brush with some of the remaining melted butter.  Continue until all 10 muffin tins are completed.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned on the top.  Carefully remove from the muffin tin; top with warmed sauce and cheese if desired.  Enjoy!

***If you aren't going to eat all 10 bundles, you can freeze them to enjoy at another time.  Once baked, allow to cool completely.  Wrap separately in aluminum foil then place in a large freezer ziploc bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.  When ready to use again, thaw in the refrigerator the night before the day of consumption.  Unwrap from aluminum foil and place on microwave safe plate.  Heat for 2-3 minutes and than topped with heated sauce and cheese.***

One Year Ago:  Super Bowl Count Down...Take One:  Appetizers


Big Dude said...

Great dish Jenn and I thought you were more than just the family cook. Thanks for sharing the storey.

Michelle said...

Lovely pictures of a great dish! :) A personal chef, huh? Many people in my life try to convince me to cater. However, I'm afraid I'd start to hate being in the kitchen, and that would be very sad.

SnoWhite said...

What a fun history, Jenn! This looks really tasty - I can see why it's a favorite!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Your reasons on quitting the personal chef business are my same reasons for not starting one, despite my friends begging me to do so. I'm glad that you got to try it - mostly so I can live vicariously thru you LOL :) The chicken bundles sound really good, and i love their delicate wrapper, so fun!! This would make a great app for a fun party :)

StephenC said...

Holy cow, you've been holding out on us! And where do I get an Italian chicken?

Cranberry Morning said...

What an interesting story, Jenn! That sounds like so much fun, but then again, as you said - more fun when it's your only job. I can't believe how tasty and crunchy those 'bundles' look! Great recipe. Thanks. :-)

Mary said...

Your background is really interesting, Jenn. Today's bundles look like amazing treats. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Angie's Recipes said...

I love these chicken bundles! They look wonderfully delicious! Gotta check the link out...thanks!

Michael Toa said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I too would love, one day to have a job where I can cook all day and have people around to eat with me. :)Those chicken bundles look excellent.

Linda said...

It's nice getting to know you a little better! Great recipe and pictures! I am printing this one out to use on Super Bowl Sunday!

Debbie said...

Thanks for sharing your story Jenn...I love getting to know things about fellow bloggers. Those bundles look so delicious!!!

Design Wine and Dine said...

That is so interesting to know! I have often wondered if I would enjoy cooking professionaly...but like you...think it would change things if it became "the job."

Nevertheless..these bundles look PERFECTLY DELICIOUS!

Cranberry Morning said...

by the way...these looked so good I went out and bought those little eggroll wrappers and we'll have this either tonight or tomorrow night for dinner. I can't wait!!

Chris said...

No wonder you got mad skills, we knew there was something more about you:) I've always said if I win the lottery and don't have to work, I'm enrolling in culinary school!

These bundles are crispy packets of yum!

Mary said...

These look fantastic, Jenn. The timing is awesome too. I have the wrappers on my list already (for a recipe next week) and I was wondering what I should make with the rest of the package. YAY! This is perfect.

I played chef for my sister last weekend while I was visiting her. I had a blast spending time with her and filling the freezer with 20+ meals. I can hardly imagine life with four daughters (two of whom are twin baby girls) AND A full time career. I was thrilled that I could help her out even a little bit!

I love the idea of a personal chef business, but I imagine it would pull much of the joy out of cooking for me as well. Thanks for the recipe!