Chicken Cannelloni (With or Without Spinach)

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“I'm not even sure where this recipe came from, it's been around so long. It sounds complicated, but it's really pretty simple, and goes together pretty quickly. And leftovers are great! If I'm making this for grownups, I add spinach, but if it's a family meal, I leave the spinach out. Sometimes, I will let the chicken marinate in white wine and thyme overnight before I begin.”
2hrs 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large skillet, simmer the chicken breasts, onion, broth, wine, and thyme, until chicken is done.
  2. Remove the chicken breasts to a plate and allow them to cool slightly.
  3. While the chicken breasts are cooling, strain the chicken broth to remove the onions and thyme.
  4. Reserve the broth into a large saucepan.
  5. Put the onions and thyme into your food processor.
  6. Chop or tear the chicken into big chunks, and put into food processor with the onions and thyme.
  7. Pulse the chicken in the food processor until finely chopped (you may need to divide the chicken into 2 batches).
  8. (I've also used my old, heavy meat grinder for this).
  9. Prepare spinach, if using. Wash well, chop, and lightly sauté in a saucepan with 2 tbs olive oil until done to your preference. I personally don't like "mushy" spinach. You may also substitute frozen chopped spinach, but be sure to squeeze it out really well.
  10. In a large bowl, mix the chicken/onion mixture with the ricotta and cottage cheese, spinach, 1/2 c parmesan, nutmeg, and white pepper.
  11. Mix thoroughly; set aside.
  12. In a large saucepan, melt butter.
  13. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn.
  14. Whisk in the reserved chicken broth, stirring constantly.
  15. Add the wine, and then the milk, stirring constantly, until sauce is velvety-smooth.
  16. Simmer, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes, while you start to assemble the canneloni.
  17. Assemble the canneloni: Lay 4-5 egg roll wraps out on the counter.
  18. Place approx 1/2 to 1 cup of chicken/cheese filling on center of wrap, and roll up, setting aside.
  19. Repeat until you're done.
  20. When sauce is done simmering, pour approx 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  21. Tilt, to make sure it's spread evenly.
  22. Arrange canneloni in dish, and top with remaining sauce.
  23. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup parmesan.
  24. Cover with foil, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
  25. During last 10 minutes, take the foil off so that the parmesan browns.
  26. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

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