Chicken Roulade, a recipe (spinach version)
We accept the shape of the meat we purchase rarely considering that we can mould it into objects, create designs, even fuse meats together. Here is a chicken breast. Pound it with something heavy into a thin sheet of meat. From there we add color through vegetables, sauce, spices, powders, other meats — and then roll it, securing it in waxed paper and aluminum foil.
The easiest way to cook a rolled chicken breast (also called Chicken Roulade) is to bake it in a water bath. Wrap the roulade in aluminum foil, put it in a deep dish, and pour enough hot water over it to almost submerge it. (Cooking in the hot water insulates the chicken from the high heat, preserving the moisture within and preventing over cooking.)
When it’s finished let it cool completely and place it in the refrigerator which sets the shape.
When you’re ready to serve open the foil and wax paper. You’ll see the Chicken Roulade with a thin layer of gelatinized juices at the bottom. That gelatine is your sauce and we can improve it before cooking by adding a tablespoon of wine, aromatics, spices.
You could use this in a sandwich, or dress it up for lunch or dinner. It elegant when cut and displayed on the plate with its sauce. I can be reheated by placing the cold foil package into a pot of hot water (80 – 90 degrees, or under the boil) for 10 to 15 minutes.
Tier one (you must use)
- Chicken breast (you can use other meats in the same way, here we are focusing on chicken)
- Wax paper and/or foil
Tier two (suggested to use)
- For the inside, several stemmed spinach leaves** (in this presentation we’re using green, so basil, minced leek, capers, chard, endive, fine herbs, kale, pesto are all suitable).
- For the outside, powdered spinach (or toasted bread crumbs or finely minced spinach leaves)
Tier three (optional)
- For the inside, several slices of thick bacon
- For the inside, several thick or thin slices of ham
- No more than one tablespoon of very dry wine or Vermouth
- No more than a teaspoon each minced shallots, carrots, celery, onions
- Tarragon sprinkled on the inside of the meat
Method: Place the whole chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap. Use a mallet or something very heavy to pound the meat. Start gently, eventually you will be able to work it thinner and thinner. Remove the wrap and push the meat into a rectangular shape, pounding the meat when necessary. (first three pics)
Note: If you use to much force you much punch a hole in the meat. That’s fine. When it cooks it will set. If this happens, push the meat back to fill the hole.
Salt and pepper the meat then sprinkle spinach powder (or bread crumbs, or minced spinach) all over until completely coated. Place a piece of wax paper or parchment on top and flip the breast upside down so the spinach (or breadcrumbs) are on the bottom. (fourth and fifth pic)
Layer the bacon or ham. (sixth pic)
Layer the cut spinach. Cover no more than 3/4 of the meat. (seventh pic)
Take the piece at then end with filling and roll towards the end with no filling. (eighth pic)
Place the shallot, carrot, celery, onion on the parchment. Pour the wine over. Place the chicken log onto these vegetables, seam side down, and roll the paper shut, twist the ends tightly. (ninth pic)
Note: You can put the chicken in the refrigerator at this point, or cook the roulade.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the foil packages in a deep dish, pour water over it until it begins to float or is nearly covered. Place in the oven for forty-five minutes.
Remove from the oven, let cool, then refrigerate, which sets the shape. When ready to serve open the pack, pour the gelatin on the plate as sauce, slice the roulade and serve. (eleventh – thirteenth pic)
Alternatively you can place the foil package into a pot of hot water (80 – 90 degrees, or below boiling) for 10 to 15 minutes. Open the package, slice, and serve.