Goat Cheese and Herb Stuffed Chicken Roulade
- 2 (8-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, and all excess liquid pressed out 8 ounces goat cheese
- 4 tablespoons toasted and finely chopped marcona almonds
- 4 tablespoons regular breadcrumbs
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 whole chickens (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, combine the spinach, goat cheese, almonds, breadcrumbs and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Lay the chicken breast-side down. Slice through the skin along the backbone of the chicken, cutting through the skin. Using your boning knife and fingers, release the skin from the chicken, angling the knife towards the meat of the chicken. Once you have loosened the skin from the back side, turn the chicken over so it is breast-side up and slice down the center of the breast. Using your boning knife and fingers, pull back the skin from each side. Once you get to the legs and wings, cut around each piece to release the skin from the joint. Take your time, this takes practice, and it doesn't have to be perfect, we just want as much skin as possible. Once you have removed the skin from each side of the chicken, set them aside.
Remove each breast from the chickens by taking your boning knife and following the breast bone down each side. Use the bones as your natural guide, follow it all the way down to remove the breast.
Once the breasts are removed, butterfly each breast by cutting into the thickest part of the breast horizontally, creating a pocket, like opening up a book. Once butterflied, place each breast in between 2 layers of plastic wrap and, using a meat mallet, pound until it is 1/4-inch thick.
Lay the chicken breasts flat and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Divide the herbed goat cheese stuffing between the 4 breasts, placing the stuffing mixture towards the bottom third of the breast, closest to its narrowest point. Roll the breast around the stuffing, tucking in the ends as you roll, like you would a burrito.
Lay the chicken skins out and divide the herb butter between them, placing the butter just below the center point of the skin. Place the rolled breast directly on top of the butter and then wrap the skin around the chicken, tucking in the ends, repeating the same process you did to roll the breasts. Once rolled, secure the skin with 3 toothpicks, one in the middle and one on each end.
Heat the oil in a nonstick, oven-safe saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the roulades and sear on all sides until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F and the juices run clear, about 10 minutes.
Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Remove the toothpicks, slice and serve.
Wine suggestion for this recipe:
Recipe courtesy Kelsey Nixon