Sophie’s Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Roulade With Basil Pesto Stuffing And Chicken Gravy

A popular poultry stuffed with homemade basil pesto and wrapped in an American delicacy: bacon.  Enjoy.

1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast or Cutlet

Fresh Basil Leaves, Washed

Baby Spinach, Washed (optional)

Toasted Sesame Seeds

1/2 Shallot, Peeled And Thinly Sliced

2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled And Smashed

Parmesan Cheese, Grated

Tomato Paste

White Balsamic Vinegar

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Olive Oil

4 slices Bacon

1 Tbsp Butter or Margarine, Softened

3 Tbsp All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth

3/4 Cup Whole Milk or Half And Half or Heavy Cream

Fresh Parsley Leaves, Washed And Chopped

For the pesto:

1. In a food processor, grind together fresh basil leaves, baby spinach (if using), toasted sesame seeds, thinly sliced shallot, smashed garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, white balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper, and with the machine running, slowly stream in olive oil until it becomes a smooth sauce.

For the original chicken:

1. Spread some of the pesto on the top side of the chicken, and wrap it up widthwise over the filling. Turn the stuffed chicken the other way, and wrap the bacon slices around it, making sure to wrap one around the middle, starting from the bottom and bringing them back up. Continue wrapping the bacon slices like that, tucking the ends under the chicken when they are completely wrapped, and place some toothpicks through the bacon slices, seam side up, to secure them.

2. Oil a cast-iron skillet, and cook the bacon slices over low heat until they are nice and crisp, using a spatula to carefully roll the chicken when necessary to make sure they all cook evenly.

For the finished chicken:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

3. Remove from oven, remove toothpicks, and place on plate.

4. Melt butter in skillet with rendered bacon fat, and sprinkle in flour. Whisk until it becomes a paste to make a roux, and turn the heat up to medium. Add chicken broth, stirring constantly, and add whole milk.  Season with salt and pepper, stir, and cook until thick.

5. Slice chicken, and pour on some gravy. Sprinkle on chopped fresh parsley leaves, and enjoy.

Yields: 1 bacon-wrapped chicken roulade with basil pesto stuffing and chicken gravy

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