Flattening and rolling chicken breasts is a great way to make variety of dishes. This recipe is perfect for the summer and a special occasion. A red wine reduction works really well as an accompaniment along with steamed green vegetables.
Rolled Chicken with Spinach and Pine Nut Mousse
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- 4 free range chicken breasts
- 200 grams of fresh spinach
- 2 egg whites
- Ground nutmeg
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- 200 ml double cream
- 40-50 grams of pine nuts (dry fried for a minute or 2)
- For the Red Wine Reduction
- 250ml red wine (Merlot works well)
- A bay leaf
- 1 banana shallot finely chopped
- 6 whole peppercorns
- 200 ml chicken stock
- 100 grams butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- Begin by placing a chicken breast between 2 pieces of clingfilm and pounding gently with a rolling pin until flattened out to an even thickness of about 5mm. Repeat for another 2 of the chicken breasts. once complete place in the fridge to cool and rest.
- Take the 4th chicken breast and dice up into 3cm (ish) chunks. Then add these to a food processor and whizz until finely chopped.
- Blanch the spinach for a few minutes until wilted. Strain and remove as much water as you can by squeezing through a sieve. and roughly chop.
- Add the spinach to the whizzed chicken and process again for about 30 seconds. Then add the egg whites, a decent grating of nutmeg (more than you may imagine), salt and pepper and process for another 30 seconds or so.
- Add the cream and process for a further 2 minutes until the a firm but light mousse is achieved.
- Finally, fold in the pine nuts and season.
- Now for the fun bit! Take the flattened chicken breasts from the fridge and one at a time, place on a piece of buttered aluminium foil. The easiest way to do this is to remove one side of film, place the foil on the top, turn over and remove the other piece of clingfilm.
- Spread an even layer of the mousse across a chicken breast. Lifting up one end of the foil, gently lift and roll the chicken on itself until its a long giant cigar. Then wrap the foil around the roll and twist each end so they are sealed. Repeat with the other two flattened breasts.
- Place back in the fridge to rest for 30 mins or so. To get ahead you can do this the day before and simply leave wrapped and ready in the fridge. When ready to cook, place in pre heated oven 180 for about 20 minutes. The chicken should be firm to the touch. Remove and rest
- While the chicken bakes, make the sauce. Put the wine, bay, sliced shallots, peppercorns into a pan and reduce by two thirds.
- Add the chicken stock and reduce again by half.
- Whisk in the butter and season to taste.
- Strain through a sieve and keep warm. (the sauce not you!)
- Remove the foil from the chicken rolls and with a very sharp knife, slice diagonally across.
- Plate up! A spoon full of sauce onto the plate, then place the chicken breasts on top and serve with the steamed greens of your choice.