I always loving experimenting with basic foods to make them look prettier and taste more delicious. Chicken is one of those foods that, while incredibly yummy and classic on its own, could use a little sprucing up from time to time. This chicken roulade recipe is a great way to elevate classic chicken breast into something special.
Chicken Roulade Recipe
I got the idea for this dish from my mom; it’s something she makes from time to time and it’s always a pleasure to eat. The French call stuffed chicken like this chicken roulade. In a way, it reminds me of chicken cordon bleu in concept, though the ingredients differ.
The chicken can be stuffed with all kinds of fillings, but this spinach combo is a favorite.
It’s also really easy to put together and ends up looking pretty special.
Chicken Roulade Fillings
While there are all kinds of options for chicken roulade fillings, spinach tends to be a favorite in many recipes. There’s typically also some kind of cheese used for the filling.
In this recipe, you end up with chicken breast that’s been stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, and ricotta, and then wrapped (and kept closed) by a few strips of bacon. The bacon adds a crisp component and delicious salty flavor. This contrasts well to the creamy spinach cheese filling inside.
After slightly being seared in a pan (a pan like this works well), the chicken is transferred to the oven where it finishes cooking.
Chicken Roulade Sauce
I don’t tend to make a chicken roulade sauce for this dish, as I think the chicken is pretty flavorful on its own, but I think a sauce can be a great compliment and also a wonderful component for plating ideas.
For instance, you can easily create a white wine cream sauce or dijon cream sauce and pour a spoonful into a shallow bowl, then place the sliced chicken roulade on top. Making a roulade sauce would be really easy and simply require that you sauté some onion and garlic in the pan that the chicken was seared in, add a little white wine to help scrape up the flavor in the pan, then stream in a little chicken stock and cream.
Overall, this chicken roulade is a beautiful, creative twist on classic baked chicken. It can be whipped up fairly quickly for a weeknight dinner, or it can be served to guests for a dinner party. Once the chicken roulade is done baking, let it rest for a few minutes before cutting it up into thick slices. I also suggest a side of mashed potatoes or sautéed vegetables. De-lish!
Chicken Roulade Recipe
Chicken stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, and ricotta, then wrapped in bacon.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups spinach cooked
- 2 tbsp butter (or olive oil)
- 12 small mushrooms crimini or button, sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves or 4 small, minced
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 12 strips of bacon
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Carefully slice through your chicken breasts horizontally just until you've almost got 2 breast halves. You want to stop right before you completely separate the halves, leaving them hanging on to each other by one edge. You can ask your butcher to do this by asking him to "butterfly" the breasts. Gently pound out the butterflied breasts to flatten them a bit. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to each chicken breast.
Place each butterflied breast on the center of 3 strips of bacon that have been laid out side by side. Set this temporarily aside.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt your butter (or heat a tablespoon of olive oil) and saute your garlic. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft and tender. Add in the spinach towards the end to cook as well.
Place the mushroom-spinach mixture in a large bowl. To the bowl, add your ricotta cheese, parmesan, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Give everything a good mix.
Scoop 2 heaping spoonfuls of the spinach mixture onto one side of each butterflied chicken breast. Fold one side of the breast over so that it meets the other side (kind of like a quesadilla), or you can roll the chicken breasts as well. Wrap the bacon strips over the breasts as well.
Transfer the stuffed breasts to a cast iron pan (or an oven-safe pan, or just a regular pan) that's got a tablespoon of olive oil heated in it. Cook each side of the chicken breasts for approximately 5 minutes before flipping to cook the other side.
If your pan isn't oven-safe, move all the breasts onto a greased baking sheet and bake at 375° for about 25 minutes. Then raise the heat to 425° for a couple of minutes (keeping a close eye on it) just so that the bacon on the exterior gets a tiny bit crispy and deepens in color.