If you couldn’t tell by the proliferation of pork, we don’t eat chicken that often. And, I rarely eat boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Yes, they are great high protein sources (hence, their popularity with body builders and fitness competitors), but they are generally meh in the taste department. Enter, the chicken roulade.
Chicken breast becomes immensely more appealing when you stuff it with tasty things. In this instance: prosciutto, caramelized onions, and arugula.
(In case you were worried about my divergence from pork, don’t be. Not only did I use prosciutto, the caramelized onions were left over from a pork shoulder braise, so they’d been slow-cooked in a tray of porky fat.)
Stuffing chicken with things provides an eminently variable mechanism for cleaning your refrigerator of odd bits. Get rid of the last few dollops of sauce, incorporate the nearly dead greens. Really, the sky’s the limit. Plus, you have the added bonus of anger management as you whack your chicken into submission pre-rolling.
As my oven was preheating to 425, I placed each chicken breast between two pieces of saran wrap and beat it with the flat side of my kitchen mallet until relatively flat. (Don’t have a kitchen mallet? Any small mallet will do. Just wrap the mallet head well in saran wrap before whacking away.)
Then, lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
After this, I layered my toppings: prosciutto, a hefty dollop of caramelized onions (spread evenly), and a handful of fresh arugula.
Next, I rolled these bundles as tightly as possible and lay them seam side down in a baking dish. Baked for 20-25 minutes and voila, fancy pants dinner.
Ingredients: boneless, skinless chicken breasts (however many you want to make) + whatever you want to stuff inside them. I’d go with something that’s a bit more flavorful to serve as a counterpoint to the blandness of the chicken, but it’s your food. The great thing is that chicken goes equally well with salty-savory and sweet-savory. What does that mean? Anything from fruit to tapenade would work, although I wouldn’t put them together.
I know, this isn’t really a recipe. And if you are anything like how I used to be, you are saying “but what do I DOOOOOO!?”
Where’s what: Take a deep breath, think about things you like and have on hand/can acquire easily, and then put them in your chicken. Really, that’s it. Heck, if you don’t like chicken, you could try this with a piece of pork tenderloin or a thinly pounded piece of beef. Crazy, right?
I baked this at 425 for about 22 minutes and just checked to make sure internal temp was above 165. (Some people like to pan sear their chicken roll ups first and then finish for a 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. That seemed like a recipe for unrolled chicken roll-ups, so I went the easy route. Google “chicken roulades” for alternate baking approaches if you want.)
Have fun, and share any tasty filling combos in the comments!