I'm a huge fan of Chef Bobby Flay's cooking. I love how bold his recipes are and how willing he is to take a risk. I like to think I cook in the same way, with a bent toward making recipes more healthy.
This recipe is based on his Pan Roasted Chicken with Crushed Blackeberry-Ancho Sauce. I lightened it and changed it a little to fit our tastes and what we had on hand. While I wouldn't recommend this dish for a busy weeknight, it is worth the effort any night you have the time to make it.
The sauce in particular was incredible! The flavors came one after the other, sweet from blackberry, tart from cranberry and just a little heat from the ancho chilis. The chicken was kept tender by the spinach stuffing and was almost sweet with the accent of the sauce and a sprinkling of ancho chili powder.
One very important step here is to properly butterfly your breasts so that you start with an even thickness. You do this by turning the breast over and along that line in the middle, butterfly each half of the breast so that the whole piece is an even thickness.
I have no way figure the calories on the sauce because all the solids are strained out, but the chicken roulade is only 152 calories with 1 gram of fat and 1 of fiber!
Chicken-Spinach Roulade with Blackberry-Ancho Sauce
Makes 8 servings
4 ancho chilis
2 cups boiling water
1 clove garlic, minced and crushed
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon light butter
2 stalks celery, diced fine
1 medium carrot, diced fine
2 small onions, diced fine
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1 cup Madeira wine (you can use port, red, or both as well)
1 cup Cranberry Compote or cranberry juice concentrate
1/2 cup ancho puree
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup blackberries
4 8-ounce chicken breasts, filleted to a single thickness and pounded thin
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 pound spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons olive oil (divided)
To make the ancho puree, boil the water and remove from heat. Add the chilis and let soak for atleast 30 minutes. Remove the peppers, reserving the water, and remove stems and seeds. Puree peppers, cilantro, garlic and 1/2 cup of the water in a food processor or blender.
To make the Blackberry-Ancho sauce, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat and add celery, carrot and onion. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered until mixture reduces by at least half. Strain out solids.
To make the chicken roulade, preheat oven to 450F. Saute garlic and spinach in 1 teaspoon oil and cool in the refrigerator or over ice. Lay out chicken breasts and evenly distribute spinach between the breasts, laying it out long-ways. Roll up chicken and tie with string. Sprinkle evenly with ancho chili powder. Heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat in a large, oven-proof skillet (I like cast-iron for this). Lay out rolls in the skillet and sear each side, 2-3 minutes each. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
One serving is 1/2 a roulade and 1/4-1/3 cup sauce.
Deal of the Day: I love my cast-iron skillet. I much prefer it to non-stick for cooking meat.