A couple of months after our wedding, a friend asked me what I’d learned being a married woman. My reply: “That meat-stuffed meat fixes anything.”
After laughing, he responded, “Yeah. Just keep us fed. That’s really all it takes.”
And it’s so very, very true. I married a meat-and-pasta kind of guy – if he could get away with it, my husband would eat tortellini and meat sauce every night of the week. I’m a keep-the-recipes-comin’ kinda of gal – if I could get away with it, I might never cook the same thing twice. Needless to say, compromise has become both of our middle names
Regardless of our differences in tastes, nothing gets either of us out of that work week funk quicker than a barefoot dinner on a Friday evening with a bottle of our own wine. The one thing I know I can always get away with? Meat-stuffed meat. Doesn’t matter what’s on the outside or what’s on the inside – either way, we both win.
The Chicken-Bacon Roulades from Elise at Simply Recipes is probably one of the best versions of meat-stuffed meat that we’ve had in a while. The gravy (or “sauce,” if you must) is terrific and the sweet shallots pair fantastically with the salty bacon. The recipe has everything… two meats, saltiness, acidity, and gravy.
Chicken breasts stuffed with bacon and shallots.
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/3 lb pancetta, cubed
- 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
- Ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Romano
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 tsp flour
- 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp cup heavy cream
- Cook the pancetta over medium heat in an ovenproof heavy skillet, until lightly brown but still flexible (not crisp). Place the bacon on paper towels to drain. Cook the shallots in the remaining fat over low heat, stirring, until softened. Transfer shallots with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and leave any fat remaining in skillet. Preheat oven to 300F.
- Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. With smooth side of a meat pounder pound each breast to 1/8-inch thickness. Discard plastic from boned side of each breast. Sprinkle chicken with pepper and salt. Place half of the pancetta (parallel with grain of flesh) along middle of each breast. Top with shallots and cheese. Using plastic wrap to help you, tightly roll up each breast lengthwise, tucking in the ends to enclose the filling. Secure seams with wooden toothpicks.
- Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to reserved fat in skillet and heat over medium high heat. Brown roulades on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the skillet to middle of oven and bake roulades until just cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to a plate with tongs and keep warm, covered with aluminum foil. Pour off fat from skillet. (Careful! The handle is hot, use an oven mitt.) Add wine to the skillet and deglaze over medium high heat, scraping up brown bits. Boil wine until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Add garlic and butter. Cook mixture over medium low heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add flour and cook roux, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth and cream and bring to a boil, whisking. Simmer the sauce, whisking, 2 minutes. Keep sauce warm. Remove the wooden toothpicks from roulades and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Spoon some sauce in center of each of 4 plates and arrange roulade slices decoratively on sauce.
Yields: 4 servings
Estimated time: 45 minutes