Spring Vegetable Chicken Roulade
My Spring Vegetable Chicken Roulade is one of my favorite chicken dinners and it arrives just in time for springtime! This quick and easy dinner turns a regular chicken breast into a simple, elegant meal and it’s great to make ahead. It’s a chicken breast rolled with pancetta, Parmesan and basil for a zip of Italian flavor, along with seasonal peas and spinach, shallot and garlic. Yummy? Yes! Read on…
These chicken rolls (or roll ups) are a great way to showcase spring vegetables. One of my favorite spring vegetable being peas. They add a lovely natural sweetness to any dish really.
Here are some of my own favorite pea recipes:
- Cheese Tortellini with Peas and Pepper
- Peas with Pancetta and Shallots
- Indian Spiced Peas
- Crispy Gnocchi with Peas, Asparagus and Lemon
- Lemon Risotto with Spring Peas
Make Ahead Roulade
Now this is the easy part. You can make both the filling and the rolls a day ahead. Just store them refrigerated in a sealed container and you’re good to go.
I love to serve this rolled chicken with Polenta. Not only does this make for a fabulous variation of textures and flavors, but it’s also deliciously comforting and just looks fantastic when served.
To finish the dish, I made a simple, easy basil oil that you can drizzle over the dish that brings even more color and also a lovely fresh taste of fresh basil.
Roulade is a French word for roll, rolled or ‘to roll’. They can be made savory by rolling beef, chicken, turkey or even fish with delicious fillings. They can also be made sweet by rolling sponge cake filled with cream, fruit, or filled and rolled with ice cream, like my Swiss Roll recipe.
When it comes to making chicken roulade, it’s important to achieve an even thickness of the chicken. If you buy a thick chicken breast, you’ll likely need to butterfly it then pound it. If you choose to buy the ever popular thin cut chicken breasts, it’ll need less pounding out/thinning to achieve the desired even thickness. In either case, just remember that the goal is even thickness throughout so the rolls cook evenly.
Now, the thickness of the chicken is solely up to you. But, I like the chicken on the thinner side so you can have a good amount of filling (kinda the good part!). If the chicken is thick this tends to make the roll look and feel heavy and will not only take longer to cook but you’ll be limited on filling.
As mentioned above, you can prepare this dish ahead and refrigerate for up 2 days before cooking, which is very cool. Just check the expiration of the chicken.
Roulade Serving Size
1 large chicken breast should serve 1 person. This is a large roll that I sliced into 3 for the photos.
Rolling Chicken Roulade
The orientation of the chicken breast when rolling is up to you. You can can make them short rolls by adding the filling on the short edge of the chicken, or you can make them long rolls by starting to roll at the longer edge. See the photo above.
Tip for tying: Add a piece of string on the long side, this helps keep the filling in place.
Serving and slicing Chicken Roulade
To finish the dish (and give it a restaurant quality look!) I made a simple basil oil to drizzle right before serving.
There are 2 ways to slice the rolls. For presentation purposes, I cut then into tall segments, log style. Or you may choose to cut them into thinner slices (like the photo below). Just be careful of the thickness as the filling may fall out. The choice is ultimately yours how you want to present them so have fun!