Bacon, sage and provolone chicken rolls with marsala sauce

This October 2014 photo shows bacon, sage and provolone chicken rolls with marsala sauce on display in New York. Rolled chicken breasts may look fancy but they’re easy to make with a bit of patience. (Todd Coleman via AP)

Serves 4

Start to finish: 45 minutes

8 (about 1 ½ pounds) thinly sliced chicken cutlets

Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 slices provolone cheese, halved

8 fresh sage leaves

8 slices uncooked bacon

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1/2 cup Marsala wine

1/2 cup chicken broth, preferably low-sodium

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Create a large clean workspace — it’s easier to roll up all of the chicken breasts at the same time, assembly-line fashion; you may want to line the counter space with wax or parchment paper (or use a huge cutting board).

Lay the chicken breasts on the work space and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Place a piece of provolone on each cutlet (trim it so it doesn’t extend over the edges of the chicken), and a sage leaf if desired. Roll up each breast, and then wrap a slice of bacon around the middle, trimming the bacon so that the ends just overlap to seal the rolls (extra bits can be crisped on their own and eaten). Skewer each roll with a toothpick to keep it closed.

Heat a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon-wrapped chicken and brown on all sides, turning the rolls with tongs so they hold their shape, about 8 minutes in all.

Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake until the rolls are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. A little cheese will probably melt out; that’s OK. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish, remove the toothpicks, and keep warm while preparing the sauce.

There should be just a couple of teaspoons of fat left in the skillet; pour off any more than that. (The skillet will be very hot, including the handle. Remember to use pot holders while preparing the sauce.) Place the hot pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds until it starts to color, then immediately add the Marsala and stir to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan to flavor the sauce. Add the broth, allow the sauce to come to a simmer, and simmer until the mixture is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.

Serve the hot chicken rolls with the sauce, either spooned over them or passed at the table.

Nutrition information per serving: 327 calories; 119 calories from fat; 13 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 94 mg cholesterol; 785 mg sodium; 5 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 37 g protein.

Katie Workman, Associated Press