Tuesday, July 3, 2012

chicken roulade with roasted red pepper pesto, spinach, and goat cheese


Whether it's for a special occasion or a simple weeknight dinner, I love a good chicken roulade. Stuffed with gourmet ingredients or whatever you have on hand, it can be as over-the-top...or as simple...as your imagination will allow. 

On this particular night, I was craving the creamy tanginess of goat cheese. Layered with homemade roasted red pepper pesto and fresh spinach, this dish had all the taste of a high-maintenance recipe but the ease and speed of a perfect weeknight dish. Bon appetit.


Chicken Roulade with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto, Spinach, and Goat Cheese

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Table salt
2 ounces goat cheese
1 large bunch of spinach
roasted red pepper pesto
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil

cooking twine

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, add 1/4 cup of salt to 1 1/2 quarts of cold water, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Add the chicken breasts to the brine solution and allow to soak for 30-60 minutes.

Rinse the chicken off and pat dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife, butterfly each breast and then pound them with a mallet until each piece is about 1/4 inch thick. Salt and pepper each side. Spread a generous dollop of pesto down the center of each piece and crumble a trail of goat cheese over top. Spread a thick layer of spinach leaves over the cheese. Starting at one end, roll the chicken up snugly, making sure to keep the pesto, cheese, and spinach encased in the meat. Using cooking twine, secure the roll.

Heat a drizzle of oil in a large oven-proof pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the chicken pieces, being sure not to crowd the pan. Brown the chicken on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side.

Place the pan in the oven and continue baking the chicken until an instant read thermometer registers 160°F, about 20-25 minutes depending on thickness.

Ashleigh Original :)

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