Chicken Roulade with a Spicy pumpkin & pasilla sauce So this ones a fall inspired dish for a potluck challenge. I'd done a roulade before .. but that was 8, maybe 9 years ago. So when I thought of how to incorporate apples/pumpkin into meat, a roulade was the first thing that came to my mind :)
For those of you who are wondering what a roulade is : "A dish cooked or served in the form of a roll, typically made from a flat piece of meat, fish, or sponge cake" but a more detailed explanation can be found on the wiki page here : Roulade
I decided with putting the apple in as well traditionally apples are used for stuffing turkey & roasted pumpkin tastes awesome, so I was definitely going to work those flavors. So I cooked the apples with almonds and some onions and jalapenos. I roast the pumpkin in the oven and then cook it with dried pasilla peppers which are common in mexican cuisine and leave that for the sauce. The chicken breasts are butterflied ( and 2 I over did so it left a loose piece hanging out - not good. For a good butterfly technique watch : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0s9wAqrs_k - unlike her; do not slit open the breast, it should have no outlet for the stuffing to leak from ! ) and stuffed with the spicy apple stuffing and topped with the pumpkin sauce.
For the chicken:
5 medium chicken breasts - butterflied as shown above
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Pat the chicken breast dry with the towel. Then score the smooth side of the chicken while making sure not to cut through. Rub with salt and pepper and leave aside.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
5 tblspns oil ( for sauteing )
Mix all the ingredients and set aside for dredging.
1/2 bunch parsley - finely chopped - for garnish.
For the Filling:
2 medium apples - small diced (I used granny smith for tartness -add 1/2 tblspn of vinegar at the end to compensate )
1 medium red onion - diced small
1/2 cup blanched almonds - slivered
1/2 tblspn butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tblspns grated queso fresco ( can substitute with other melting cheeses )
3 tblspns bread crumb
Heat a skillet and add butter. Add in jalepenos and almonds. After 2 mins add in the apples and onions and let it sweat for about 4-5 mins on med-low. Add salt and pepper; remove from heat and add the bread crumb and cheese - let cool.
For the pumpkin sauce:
1/5-2 lb pumpkin - rough cut
1 tblspn oil
32 ounces of chicken stock (1 big box) - use the unsalted version.
6 pasilla peppers - remove the head
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp spanish paprika
1 tblspn butter
1 tsp salt.
Preheat over to 450F. Add the pumpkin to a baking tray - skin side down. Drizzle oil. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until soft through. Once done, scoop the meat with a spoon.
Use a saucier to bring the chicken stock to a boil, turn the heat down and add in the peppers. Add in the pumpkin meat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Strain the pulp making sure the pepper seeds dont get through (You can leave the pulp for other uses - e.g. add to daal) . In another saucier heat the oil and fry the cinnamon stick, cloves , bay leaf and paprika for 1 minute. Add the strained pulp and add salt. At this time, the sauce should look rich with a shine on the surface. Set on warm/low heat.
Put it together:
Beat the chicken breasts with a flat cleaver or a meat pounder until you achieve a quarter inch thickness throughout. Stuff the chicken by taking 2 tblspns of stuffing per breast. Place the heart shaped chicken breast such that the pointed edge faces either side. Place the stuffing along the middle. Then carefully roll starting from the edge by pointing it halfway through the stuffing and gently lifting the breast to form a roll. Tuck the pointed side into the roll. Then take the thread with both hands (leaving 4-6" on the left hand) and slide it under the breast to the far end. Tie both end of the thread, then take the loose end and roll over the breast leaving an inch between rolls until you get to the end of the breast. Take the thread and roll along the breadth (top to bottom) and finally tie it back to the remainder of the thread (the initial 4-6"). Repeat with all the breasts. For a good guide on howto tie the breast watch : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6y7imPNcQc
Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Heat the sauteing oil in a large (over proof) skillet - set the heat to high. Dredge the chicken breasts in the dredging flour and saute for 2 mins on each side - or until light golden. Remove and set aside. Place all the breasts back into the skillet and place in the oven for 30 mins; turning once every 10 mins. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 mins.
Cut the thread with scissors. Slice the breasts and spoon the pumpkin sauce over, garnish with parsley.