Herb-Infused Goat Cheese, Pancetta, and Spinach Chicken Roulade

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Lately I’ve been watching a lot of Worst Cooks in America….A LOT. I’ve literally blown through every episode they have available on Netflix. I’m a sucker for food shows in general, but this show in particular. You know how people cry when watching The Biggest Loser? Well, Worst Cooks is my Biggest Loser. Every final episode, EVERY FINAL EPISODE, you can find me on our couch crying into a bowl of (most likely) cereal as the final contestants face off and prepare a three course meal for some of the biggest deals in the food world. It’s beautiful!! Well…it’s beautiful, and I’m pregnant, so it’s also a lethal combination.

Well, on one (of my many) binge afternoons, the contestants made their very own version of Chicken Roulade. I about jumped out of my sweat pants because this dish has literally been my biggest (and weirdest) pregnancy craving!! I sat there, salivating, until finally I said “Enough preggers! Just go and make the damn thing!” So that’s what I did.

What I love about Chicken Roulade is that you can completely make it your own. It is pleasing to the eye and a major crowd pleaser. Yes…there are a few steps involved, but don’t let that sway you, it is actually quite easy.

And BONUS! Don’t like Chicken? No problem. You can easily substitute any protein you prefer.

Ok, so here’s my take on Chicken Roulade:

RECIPE:

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Mustard Sauce:

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup whole-grain spicy honey mustard

1/2 Tbsp wasabi paste

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Chicken Roulade:

1/4 cup oil plus more for drizzling (you may use canola, olive, or vegetable)

1 clove of garlic, pressed

pinch of red chile flakes

4 ounces fresh baby spinach

4 6-ounce boneless, skinless, chicken breasts

8 thin slices of pancetta

8 oz herb infused goat cheese

2 Tbsp butter

butcher’s twine *

salt and pepper to taste

LEVEL: MODERATE

DIRECTIONS:

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For the mustard sauce:

whisk together the honey, mustard, wasabi paste, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let sit to allow the flavors to meld while you make the chicken.

For the Chicken Roulade: 

Preheat your oven to 400*F. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over low heat. Add the garlic and red chile flakes and cook for roughly 30 seconds.

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Increase the heat, stir in the baby spinach, season with salt and pepper, and cook until just wilted, (about 2 minutes). Set aside.

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Next, drizzle the chicken breasts with a little oil and thinly pound between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap. TIP: If you do not have a meat tenderizer, a hammer works just fine 😉 . Put the breasts on a flat surface skin-side down, and sprinkle the top sides with salt and pepper. Place 2 slices of the pancetta on eat breast; spread or crumble 2 ounces of the herb-infused goat cheese over the pancetta, and then top with 1/4 of the spinach in the center.

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Roll the breasts tightly and tie with butcher’s twine. Sprinkle the roulade with salt and pepper.

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Heat a large ovenproof sauté pan over high heat. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil and cook until it begins to shimmer. Put the rolled roulades in the pan seam-side up and add the butter. Cook until golden brown on all sides, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and continue cooking until the breasts are just cooked through and the cheese has melted, about 5-7 minutes.

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Remove the roulades to a plate and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

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Serve with the mustard sauce and your choice of sides.

For this dish, I chose to pair my roulades with creamy golden mashed potatoes and oven roasted asparagus.

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