Friday, May 16, 2014

Chicken Roulade w/ Spinach, Feta, and Bacon

When I went to cook dinner the other night, I decided I should make use of some things in my fridge that could otherwise go bad. I pulled out half a lemon, some feta cheese crumbles, two pieces of bacon, and a large chicken breast. I grabbed some spinach from my garden to add some nutrients and color, and put together the following recipe:



You will need the following ingredients for 2 servings:

1 large chicken breast (mine was 1lb)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 pieces of bacon, cooked
1 cup fresh spinach
2-3 oz crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp oregano
Pinch of lemon zest
Sea Salt, ground
Pepper, fresh ground
2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup white wine
¼ cup chicken broth

2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh

Preheat oven to 450

The very first thing I did was cook and crumble the two pieces of bacon. I cut each piece in half and cooked until crispy, then crumbled and set aside.


The next step is to prepare the rest of the filling for the chicken. Using a lemon zester, I gathered a maybe 1/4 tsp of fine zest, chopped it fine, and threw it into a bowl. You can also use a microplane, which usually yields faster and more consistent results. 

In the same bowl add minced garlic, oregano, and feta cheese. Toss gently until well blended. Set filling aside while you prepare the chicken!


Cut the breast in half horizontally, being careful that both halves are as even as possible. A sharp knife is invaluable at this step.


Now we have two pieces of chicken that need to be pounded to about 1/8 inch thickness. For tips on pounding chicken, you view this video. I didn't have a mallet, and I find that those things tend to tear apart chicken anyway, so I used the flat bottom of a heavy glass to do my pounding. A full wine bottle is another common tool - but be careful not to break your counter top!

Lay a piece of wax paper on a baking sheet. Brush the paper with a thin layer of olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Then lay out your two flattened pieces of chicken and brush each with oil, and add salt & pepper.


Now you are ready to add the filling. Spread the feta mixture evenly on the chicken breasts, keeping away from the edges as much as possible. Then top with crumbled bacon and shredded spinach.


It's finally time to cook your chicken roulade! Starting at the bottom, gently roll the chicken from one end up. The ideal way to secure these would be to use kitchen twice. Again, I didn't have this, so I used toothpicks. 

Rule for using toothpicks instead of twine: Make sure you know exactly how many toothpicks you put in each piece, so you know exactly how many should come out before you serve to your guests! 


Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a frying pan and place on medium-high heat. Cook for about five minutes on each side, or until brown on all sides.


Place chicken into a shallow, oven-proof dish and bake for 5-7 minutes or until internal temperature reads 160 degrees.

While the chicken cooks: add wine, broth, and lemon juice to the same skillet you cooked the chicken in. Scrape together all the little bits that were left over and bring to a boil. Reduce this mixture to about 1/4 cup. Pour over chicken prior to serving.


Serve whole or slice into 5-6 pieces; serve with rice or couscous. Enjoy!