The Cooking Chook does Christmas – Chicken Roulade with Sage Stuffing
If you are the one designated to putting on the Christmas spread, the one thing that brings down the Christmas spirit is the stress of having to whip up a wonderful meal for a large group of people. Australians kind of have this under control, generally putting on a BBQ or something similar which is quick, easy and relaxed (it also helps that Christmas is in the middle of summer here). At my house, my partner’s family is the only side of the family that celebrates Christmas so it’s not really too stressful and we generally have seafood, such as lobster and prawns, which is easy enough to cook up and serve. However, I do have friends that have the more traditional spread of turkey and ham – huge chucks of meat that take FOREVER to cook. I did mention in a previous post that I’m not a traditionalist so when a girlfriend of mine asked me if I was going to post any turkey or ham recipes for Christmas, I had to think long and hard about a recipe that had a traditional feel to it without spending HOURS or even DAYS in preparation and cooking. Enter the roulade recipe. I found this recipe in this month’s Delicious magazine, one of my favourite food magazines going around at the moment. A roulade sounds a bit fancy, but it’s basically a piece of flattened meat that is rolled around some sort of filling. I used chicken for this recipe but you could easily replace it with turkey. One of the best things about this particular recipe is it takes a lot less time to cook than a whole turkey or ham because the meat you are cooking are smaller in size, so you could use that spare time to do something more worthwhile…say, actually enjoy Christmas Day. This recipe serves two people, but if you wanted to make it to serve more people, divide the ingredient amounts by two, then multiply it by the number of people you want to serve. This one is for you Melinda. Easy peasy!
Chicken Roulade with Sage Stuffing
2 x 180g chicken breast fillets, skinless (I use Lilydale Free Range chicken)
1 tbs fresh sage, chopped
2 thin pork and herb sausages, casings removed
12-15 flat pancetta slices, rind removed
Place a fillet in between two sheets of baking paper and use either a rolling pin or, my kitchen utensil of choice, meat mallet to flatten to 1.5cm thick. Season the fillet with salt and pepper and scatter some of the chopped sage.
Place one of the sausages on the fillet and roll up tightly to enclose. Arrange 6 pancetta slices vertically on a work surface, ensuring that the slices overlap each other. Place the rolled fillet at the edge closest to you, and carefully roll up to enclose then wrap up tightly in foil. Repeat this process with the other fillet, then chuck the parcels into the fridge for an hour to firm up.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Place the parcels on a baking tray and whack them into the oven to roast for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for another 10 minutes or until the pancetta has nicely browned and the meat has cooked through. To serve, slice the roulades and serve with roast vegetables, sides of your choice and gravy.
Note: I have made one change to the original recipe which is using chicken rather than turkey fillets. Also, you may want to get a few extra slices of pancetta just in case the slices aren’t thick enough in depth, which will mean you won’t be able to fully enclose the chicken in the pancetta – that’s why I haven’t specified an exact number of slices. If you are living in Australia, I do believe the current issue of Delicious is still on sale if you want to purchase it – it does have some wonderful recipes in it. Just in case you are wondering, I am in no way affiliated with the publisher of Delicious magazine.