So, I’ve been watching FN’s Worst Cooks in America, and a week ago or so, the chefs – Bobby Flay and Anne Burrell – had the recruits prepare roulades. These guys can hardly use knives, and they were asking them to make roulades?!? Anyway, most of them produced adequate roulades, although I had some fear for the guy who wanted to use a lobster! Inspired, I decided to try my hand at a roulade.
I chose spinach as the base of my filling, and to round the flavor, I added a bit of green onion, parsley, crumbled cotija cheese and crushed red pepper flakes. The result was delicious – I loved it! And, it wasn’t difficult, butterflying the breast took a bit of patience, but nothing too taxing. Following the chefs’ examples, I browned my roulade on the stove and finished in the oven. My attempt at a pan sauce is hardly worth mentioning, as I just squeezed in some lemon and added a pat of butter. I made two roulades, but the husband was not interested. Ah, well, leftovers for me – win-win!
Chicken Roulade with Spinach
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
5 oz bag baby spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cotija or feta cheese
3 tablespoons parsley, minced
2 tablespoons green onion tops, sliced
2 chicken breasts, butterflied and flattened (watch this how-to video)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and papper, to taste
Oven-proof skillet (I used my paella pan)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in an oven-proof skillet, add the crushed red pepper flakes and garlic; cook about 30 seconds
Add the bag of baby spinach to the skillet, tossing to coat with the olive oil mixture; cook until wilted, about 3-4 minutes.
Place the wilted spinach in a bowl and set aside to cool; you’ll use the skillet to brown the chicken, so just place it aside.
Butterfly the chicken breasts (watch this video is you’re unsure of the method) and set aside.
With kitchen shears or a knife, roughly chop the spinach; stir in the cotija cheese, parsley, and green onion tops; taste. Add salt and pepper, as needed.
Light salt and pepper the breasts.
Pat half of the spinach mixture onto the breasts, leaving a 1/4″ border.
Roll the chicken breast (as you would cinnamon rolls) and secure with toothpicks (I used 2 per breast)
Repeat with remaining breast.
In the same pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and tablespoon of butter.
Add the roulades and brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes.
Place pan in oven and cook for another 25 minutes, or until juices run clear.
Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.