Something y’all might not know about me – I like to stuff stuff… food stuff! I enjoy melding ingredients together – delicately, lovingly, and thoughtfully; then
shove place them inside a ‘host’ ingredient, to create one harmonious, culinary, symbiotic relationship.
To marry them, hopefully for the better and not the worse (side note: I have had some bad food pairings. It is never good or lady like to want to spit your food out into your napkin). To make each ingredient shine, become a better version of themselves, and yet give way/space for the other ingredients to do the same. For them to completely and utterly make some serious culinary magic together. So I stuff stuff… as a hobby.
So… let us talk about food pairings and a GREAT book, for both the beginning and the well seasoned cook, dedicated entirely to flavor compositions.
The Flavor Bible by: Karen Page, Andrew Dornenburg. It is an outstanding book, one every foodie should have on their shelf for reference. It breaks down every ingredient on God’s green earth and provides a list of what other ingredients or flavors will compliment them.
It even puts the best fitting, most complimentary ingredients in bold. Have extra zucchini and an idea for a dish? However, you are not sure if your flavors will enhance each other? Simply look up zucchini and it will give you a list, telling you ‘YAY! That will work!’ or ‘NAY! Try one of these ingredients instead.’ Go buy the book, you won’t be sorry. Disclaimer: I was not paid to advertise for this book. I am shamelessly advertising for free because it truly is a wonderful, must own reference.
Now, down to business. After all the wonderful things I just wrote about The Flavor Bible, I did not reference it for this Chicken Roulade. Don’t ask me why, I just didn’t, okay? Regardless, this roulade is a TERRIFIC example of combining complimentary flavors AND stuffing stuff. Win, win situation if you ask me!
It combines sweet strawberries with savory suculent chicken; salty, crispy, decadent bacon. While the creamy, tangy gorgonzola cuts the slight sour/bitter acidity of the white balsamic vinegar.
All the flavors balance each other. They mix and mingle, but not one overpowers or outshines the other… each ingredient’s presence is tasted in every bite. Fusion people! Not the nuclear kind, the culinary kind. The kind that sends your taste buds off to a secret, V.I.P., invite only party in your mouth. The kind that makes you want to have a ‘When Harry Met Sally’ moment and say “Yes, Yes, YEESSSS!” Need I go on?
This recipe utilizes the strawberry dressing from the scallop salad I made a few posts back….I hate wasting anything delicious…
With a few added ingredients and a little reducing on the stove top, it turns into a wonderful, luxuriously rich reduction… perfect for drizzling over this roulade.
However, the sauce, the flavor components would work well together in any culinary situation. Take the salad and strawberry reduction, add some Honey; drizzle it over a salad with sauteed tofu – YUM! Take the idea of how easy it is to stuff a chicken breast, stretch it to feed a few, AND make it look eloquent… run with it. Stuff it with what ever your heart desires. Just stuff something. Oh, P.S.. This sauce is sooooo GOOD with Pork. Trust. Me. 🙂
I’m hungry now… so I am going to back to where I belong to work on our next culinary adventure together. Until then, make this. I expect a full report when I get back.
How to make Chicken Roulade 👇
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- 1 Cup Strawberry Vinaigrette
- 1 TB White Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 Strips Bacon – Cooked and Finely Diced **reserve Bacon Fat
- 2 ½ TB Bacon Fat (may substitute Olive Oil) - Divided
- ½ Medium sized Yellow Onion – Peeled and Diced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- ¼ Cup Gorgonzola – Crumbled
- ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/8 th tsp Chili Powder (or to taste, if you don’t like Heat)
- ¼ tsp Dried Thyme
- Combine Strawberry Vinaigrette and Balsamic Vinaigrette in a small saucepan over Medium High Heat. Bring to a Boil. Reduce to Low; Simmer 25 – 30 minutes, or until sauce is reduced by about half, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
- While Sauce is Reducing; Caramelize Onions in 1 TB Bacon Fat over Low Heat, stirring occasionally for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove from heat, with a slotted spoon, and allow to cool on a small plate.
- While your stove is busy with the Reduction and Caramelizing. Butterfly and Pound out the Chicken:
- *Using a sharp knife (I recommend at Slicing Knife), press your hand on top of the Chicken Breast, using a sweeping motion, towards you, cut into the middle of the Breast, until almost all the way through. (Like you are about to create two equal sized chicken breasts). Open the Breast and lie flat. Between two pieces of plastic wrap, using a Mallet, Pound out Chicken to equal thinness. Try to get as thin as possible without tearing the Chicken Breast.
- In a Medium sized Mixing Bowl Combine Filling Ingredients: Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, and Thyme. Season with Salt and Pepper to Taste.
- Divide the Filling Mixture between both Chicken Breasts, placing mixture at the end of the Breast, then Roll Up tightly in the Plastic Wrap
- Place in the Fridge for 30 Minutes *this is optional, but recommended to help keep the chicken from unrolling on you. Alternatively you can use a toothpick to secure the chicken roulade and skip the refrigeration.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place a Sauté Pan over Medium High Heat. Add remaining 1 ½ TB Bacon Fat to pan.
- Season Chicken Roulades on all sides with Salt and Pepper. Add to Sauté pan, Seam side Down, and Brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total, using tongs to roll the chicken about every 2 minutes to create a nice Sear.
- Transfer the Pan to the Oven and continue to cook until done throughout (internal temperature of 165 Degrees F), about 6-7 minutes.
- Remove **With Oven Mitts* the Sauté Pan from the oven. Transfer Chicken Roulades to a clean work surface and allow to rest for a few minutes so juices can redistribute.
- Slice into 1’’ rounds, leave whole, cut in half… whatever floats your boat… and drizzle with Strawberry Balsamic Reduction Sauce.