Ah! Chicken Roulade! One of our favorite dishes. Basically roulade is a fancy way of saying "rolled up". This is such an awesome technique because you can do it with any meat and any stuffing. Like check out my spicy pork roulade:
|Spicy Pork Roulade|
Instead of chicken I used pork tenderloin with jalapenos, cheese, onions, garlic and roasted red peppers. The possibilities are endless! So let’s get to it!
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup of ricotta cheese (I used part skim)
- 1/2 c. frozen spinach thawed and the water squeezed out
- 3 garlic cloves (Yes this is a very garlicky dish- if you're not into garlic that much just use less)
- 1 tsp salt
- few grinds of fresh cracked pepper
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ c. shredded mozzarella cheese (if you don’t have mozzarella, you can substitute parmesan)
- oil for frying
- First I got all my non-meat ingredients in order (my Mise en place - meez on plaz- which is all your ingredients ready and everything set up to go). Take all the ingredients except for the chicken and oil and mix in a bowl until combined. I also preheated my oven to 350 degrees.
The left bowl is the filling, middle bowl is my onions and garlic for the sauce (see recipe later in this post) and the right one is just a bit of parsley chopped (basil would have been better to use, or you can just leave it out all together- it's just really for garnishing)
As you can see I divided my filling into portions so it would be easier to just grab and form to place inside the chicken later.
2. Next we take our chicken and butterfly them open like a book. Careful not to cut through them, just take your time and work it as you go along. After they are all butterflied, cover them with plastic wrap.
3. Now take your meat mallet, heavy skillet or (I used) a rolling pin and pound out the breasts firmly but not too aggressive, you don't want to rip the chicken. When you do this don't just pound straight down like you are beating the life out of it, but pound it in an outward sweeping motion towards the edges of the chicken. You want to try and get an one even thin piece of chicken.
4. Now take our filling and roll into a little log. Ricotta cheese makes this easy but if you are using other ingredients just lie out or sprinkle on one side of the chicken- like where we are placing the ricotta log.
5. Now we just roll up like a burrito and tie! If you don't have kitchen twine, you can always use toothpicks. I did a fancy butcher's knot wrap up thing (that we will have to save for a video blog!) then sprinkled with salt and pepper.
6. Heat up some oil in a pan. I consider these roulades as having 4 sides- so fry them 2-3 minutes on each side to get them browned. Try using an oven safe (or cast iron) skillet here so you can just put in the oven when you are finishing browning, instead of transferring to a baking sheet. Either way works though. We are putting it in the oven to finish cooking them. I would say about 10-15 minutes (check with your meat thermometer!)
7. Slice on a bias (diagonal) and you have a pretty impressive dish. Once you do this a couple times, it is so easy that you will be making it all the time and trying new combinations!
Homemade Sauce Part 2
- 1 (28oz) can of whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- extra virgin olive oil-enough to cover the bottom of whatever pan you are using
- ½ tsp salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- ½ tsp of dried oregano
- ½ tsp of dried basil
- ½ tsp of red pepper flakes
- In a sauce pan heat the oil over medium, medium-low heat. Then add the onion and garlic (they shouldn’t be getting brown or burning; you are gently cooking them).
- When the onion is soft add the tomatoes and mash them up with a potato masher (or a spoon).
- Add about ¼-½ cup of water.
- Add all the dried spices
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. You want to simmer for about 20 mins. If you start this before you do your chicken, it will be done by the time you are ready to eat. Stir it every once in a while. You really just need to let it simmer while you prepare the chicken roulade. Always taste before you serve though. It might need a bit more salt.
- Serve on top of pasta and along side your fancy shmancy chicken roulade. Sprinkle everything with freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese.