Chicken roulade never fails to impress. When it was roasting in the oven, Eric wandered the house saying, “Wow, it smells so good!” Once you slice it into little spiraled coins of chicken and serve it, everyone says “Ooooh!” and thinks you spent hours on dinner. But I’ll let you in on a secret, it takes just about fifteen minutes of prep work to create this impressive main dish! I wish all fancy chicken recipes were this easy!
If you don’t know how to make a roulade, don’t worry. It’s so much easier than it looks. They can be made with any protein, but chicken is the most common. It’s basically just chicken stuffed with your choice of ingredients. You can make a sweet filling with fruits and nuts, a spicy one with peppers, or a classic spinach roulade.
The key to my roulade recipe is a flavorful gooey filling. I use a combination of cheeses, sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil, all of which go beautifully with chicken. Sometimes boneless skinless chicken breasts can get dried out, so the moisture of the filling helps prevent that. My other method for sealing in moisture is to brown the outside of the chicken roll in a skillet. This seals the roll before baking it melts the cheese, and puts a nice crust on the chicken to keep its moisture inside.
Make sure to really pound your chicken to an even thickness. I usually put one breast at a time in a gallon zip top bag, press the air out before sealing and then pound it with my marble rolling pin or the flat side of a meat cleaver. You can also use the typical chef method of sealing it in two sheets of plastic wrap and pounding it with a heavy duty skillet. Either way is great for taking out any frustrations from your day!
This was my last chicken dish I cooked for everyone before I started having to live off of chicken soup. Being sick is the only thing that can kill my desire for food.
While I’m home with a cold that seems to have turned into bronchitis (finally giving in and going to the doctor tomorrow), Eric is taking good care of me. I’m working from home, including a few new projects. One of which is doing book reviews for the BlogHer Book Club.
I LOVE BlogHer and will be speaking at their big conference this August. They’ve recently started a book club and have asked some of us to help in reviewing books. Some have been great, some disappointing, but the latest book, “What Happened to Goodbye” by Sarah Dessen was a definite win. If you have a teenage daughter and are struggling to find healthy young adult fiction for her, I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s one of the few teen fiction books I’ve read that actually sends healthy messages instead of dysfunctional ones. You can read my full review on BlogHer.
So, have you ever stuffed chicken breasts before? What do YOU like to stuff chicken with?
Tomato Basil Chicken Roulade
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 35 minutes Total time: 50 minutes Yield: 3-6 servings
boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup
- 1 TBS
- 1/8 tsp
fresh ground pepper
sun dried tomatoes
fresh basil leaves
- 1 tsp
- 2 TBS
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place chicken breasts in ziploc bags or between plastic wrap and pound to an even 1/8 inch thickness.
- Place feta, cream cheese, lemon juice, pepper, sun dried tomatoes and basil leaves in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. (Alternative: finely chop tomatoes and basil and mix with cheeses, lemon juice and pepper by hand)
- Spread 1/3 of cheese filling onto one side of each chicken breast. Roll each breast up and secure with twine. Sprinkle the outside of the rolls with kosher salt.
- Heat 1 TBS of olive oil in a skillet on high. Place rolls seam side down and cook 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Turn rolls to get all four sides golden, cooking 3-4 minutes a side.
- Place rolls in a baking dish and cook 20-25 minutes until just cooked through (internal temperature of 165 degrees).
- Remove from oven, cut off twine. Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing into coins.
Approximate cost/serving: I grow my own basil in pots which is much cheaper than buying it in the grocery store. I also dry my own tomatoes but I often see them on sale. I buy my chicken breasts in bulk at Sam’s Club which comes out to about 60 cents each. I also get the cheese in bulk at Sam’s Club. This cost me just $3.10 to make. Eric and I split one roulade, our teenage guys each eat one apiece. So it’s 52 cents each for 6 servings or $1.03 for 3 servings. Either way, a cheap main dish! I like to serve it with steamed broccoli for a dinner that’s just $1-$1.50 per person!
Gluten Free: No changes necessary.
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.