As any cook knows, sometimes unplanned things just happen when you’re cooking. Today on KKTV while filming at The Cliff House, I think I had the burner turned up a bit too high! Chef Boudouin is showing us how to make an easy but delicious Chicken Roulade that thankfully survives the high heat.
First the food…”roulade‘ is a French term that means, to roll. And that’s exactly what this dish is; a chicken breast pounded thin, filled with delicious ingredients, and then rolled up and cooked. It looks beautiful, tastes wonderful, and will impress family and friends alike. Don’t let the name of this dish scare you, thinking it’s complicated or too expensive because it’s not. The dish itself is as easy as pie to prepare, well, actually it’s a lot easier than making a pie and with a few changes to the ingredients, it becomes very budget-friendly. Chef uses fresh arugula and pine nuts as part of his filling, which can both be expensive, especially the pine nuts. Pine nuts are pricey and can be difficult to find but you can actually substitute any nut. I actually started making pesto this year using walnuts or pecans instead of pine nuts because of the difference in price. If cost isn’t a concern, use the pine nuts but otherwise, feel free to use any nut you like or that’s on sale (not peanuts). Occasionally I’ll find arugula on sale but if it’s not, any greens will work, like mixed greens or spinach. You can prep this dish ahead of time and then simply pop in the oven to finish, making it a great meal for hectic nights or for when company’s coming over. Cutting the chicken on the bias makes it look even more elegant, showing all the colors of your filling.
My job today was easy. Heat the arugula and stir it. Well obviously, I had the burner turned up too high because as Chef’s rolling the chicken, there’s a lot of smoke coming up from my pan. Luckily, he had some arugula he had already wilted so we didn’t have to use mine. We look very nonchalant as the smoke becomes darker and thicker but believe me, I was very aware and just hoping the smoke alarms didn’t go off. My next job, to heat the oil for the chicken in a new pan…but someone forgot to turn the heat down.
Now if it had been just me and the pan flared up like it did, I probably would have whipped out the fire extinguisher and ruined the entire dish. Chef simply removes the pan, pops it in the oven and saves the chicken. He’s a pro and I’m obviously not. But it just goes to show, things happen and it doesn’t mean the dinner has to be ruined! I will say, all of us in the kitchen were able to get through the filming without coughing but the second the cameras stopped rolling we all took a long gasp and the room erupted in coughing!
Even with the “fire,” the finished meal looks and tastes wonderful. You can make this from start to finish in less than 30 minutes and if you sub the arugula and pine nuts with spinach and walnuts or pecans, make this an affordable favorite to serve to family and friends. If pine nuts and arugula are in your budget though, I’d try Chef’s recipe as is.