Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Place each chicken breast half between two sheets of waxed paper. Using a meat mallet or the dull side of a cleaver blade, press down and then push out from the center of each breast half, flattening it out evenly. Do not overpound or the breasts will break apart.
To make the stuffing: soak the bread in the stock until it is softened, two to three minutes. Meanwhile, in a skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the green onions and sautee, until softened but not browned, about three minutes. Place the green onions in a mixing bowl. Squeeze the excess stock from the bread; discard the stock. Add the bread to the bowl, along with the sage, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Taste for seasoning.
Place a slice of ham on each of the flattened chicken breast halves. Divide the bread stuffing between the two breasts, spreading it over the ham. Roll up each breast from a narrow end; the opposite end should remain uncovered and slightly overlap the roll. Tuck in any stuffing that may have leaked out of the ends; the ham slice will prevent stuffing from leaking out of the center of the chicken roll. Using cotton kitchen string, tie the rolls closed in the same fashion that a roast is laced. Toothpicks can be used to fasten the ends securely.
Melt the butter with the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, dredge the chicken rolls in the flour and set aside. When the skillet is hot enough to make the chicken rolls sizzle, add them. Brown on all sides for no longer than five minutes. Prolonged sauteing will toughen the delicate breast meat. To turn the rolls, gently slide a spatula under them to prevent rupturing.
Transfer the sauteed breast rolls to a casserole just large enough to accommodate them, but with enough room to keep them from touching. Set the skillet aside for later deglazing. Pour the stock over the breasts, cover tightly, and place in the preheated oven. Bake until the breasts are just cooked through but still juicy, 20 to 25 minutes. Overcooking by even five minutes will dry them out. Remove from the oven, and transfer the rolls to a cutting board, reserving the liquid in the casserole. Remove the string and toothpicks and let stand for five to ten minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the pan drippings that remain in the skillet in which the breasts were sauteed. Add 1/2 cup of the stock from the casserole and bring to a simmer, using a wooden spoon to dislodge any bits stuck to the pan bottom. Add the wine and continue to simmer to evaporate the alcohol. Taste for salt.
Cut each of the stuffed breasts crosswise into five or six slices and arrange on a serving platter. Pour the hot pan juices over them. Serve warm or hot.
Little Dishes of Italy: Antipasti" by Julia Della
A very pretty and easy to prepare appetizer. The boned chicken
breasts, stuffed and rolled closed before cooking, produce little
circles of juicy breast meat surrounding an herb-speckled disc of savory