The full flavor of chicken thighs complements beet greens. The Parmesan glues these little bundles together and the prosciutto wraps them like skin. The roulades also work well at room temperature, as for an elegant picnic or buffet, sliced across to show the colorful filling.
Makes 4 servings
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ pound young beet greens, trimmed, washed, drained, and coarsely chopped or torn
2⁄3 cup chicken stock, divided
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1½ pounds)
Parmigiana Reggiano cheese in thin shavings
8 thin slices prosciutto
Prepare the beet greens (this step can be done a day ahead):
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan set on low, and add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft, stirring occasionally.
Add the beet greens to the pan a handful at a time, stirring to coat with oil, about 3 minutes. When they’re wilted, add 1⁄3 cup of chicken stock. Cover partially and braise over medium-low heat, stirring until they are tender (time varies; add more stock if needed); most of the liquid should evaporate. Remove from the heat to cool.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Smear the bottom of a shallow roasting pan (large enough to accommodate the chicken thighs in one layer) with a little olive oil.
Lay the thighs out on a cutting board outer side down and layer each with some of the Parmigiana shavings. Divide the beet greens evenly among the thighs and then top with another layer of cheese shavings. One at a time, roll the thighs up to enclose the filling and place them seam-side down in the pan; they should fit fairly snugly. Brush with the remaining olive oil. Carefully wrap each bundle in a slice of prosciutto to create a skin, and place in pan, seam-side down.
Bake for 15 minutes; add the remaining stock to the pan and baste the chicken liberally, continuing to bake for another 15 minutes or until the proscuitto is just beginning to crisp. Broil the chicken, if necessary to crisp the prosciutto. Drizzle with pan sauce to serve.