Chicken Roulade with Chorizo and Manchego

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Having finally fallen in love with chorizo I seem to be looking for a way to stick it into every meal! It regularly appears in our breakfasts, be it in a hash or cooked in a tomato sauce, for dinner in this salad or cooked with pasta. I think this however is my favourite use for it.

This dish is all about vibrant colour and delicious Spanish flavours. It has chorizo, manchego cheese, peppers, paprika, almonds, sherry. And then I ruin all that by serving it with a pasta side! Seriously though, the saffron orzo is a really good side for this. You could serve it with mash or baby potatoes if you like. Or keep to the Spanish theme and serve these Patatas Bravas.

It seems more complicated than it is. Roulade is just a fancy way of saying stuffed and rolled. Don’t be too anxious about the appearance, you’ll get better with practice and it’s really all about the taste. If you don’t fancy bashing it out – why not, it’s great fun! – you could always make a little pocket in the side and push the stuffing in as if making a Chicken Kiev. You won’t get as much stuffing that way. You could also breadcrumb it to add crunch but I like it uncoated.

You can prep this in advance, in fact, rolling the chicken and leaving it in the fridge for a while will help to keep the shape while cooking. Then it can be on the table in under 20 minutes.

Serves 4

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Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breast fillets
  • 100g chorizo
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 75g grated Manchego cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 60ml sherry or brandy
  • 300ml hot chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • A pinch of smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • A few toasted flaked almonds and green beans to serve.

Method:

  • Start by making the filling for the chicken. Remove the chorizo from it’s casing and crumble into a dry non stick pan over a medium high heat. Cook until the oil is released from the chorizo and remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  • Discard all but one tablespoon of the chorizo oil and put the pan back on the heat. Finely dice the shallot and fry in the chorizo oil until cooked. Add the crushed clove of garlic and fry or another minute. Add this to the chorizo.
  • Finely dice the roasted pepper and grate the cheese. Add this to the chorizo and onions and mix well together. Season with a little salt and pepper – don’t go overboard as the chorizo will have quite a lot of seasoning itself. Set the filling to one side to cool.
  • Next prep the chicken. Cut into the breasts to butterfly them taking care not to cut the whole way through. Next put it into a large freezer bag or place it between two pieces of clingfilm and bash with a rolling pin until it is 1cm thick. Try not to get any holes in the meat but it is not the end of the world if you do, it just means some of the filling may leak out.

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  • Put a line of the stuffing in the middle of the chicken breast and use the clingfilm to help you wrap the chicken around it until you have a neat roll. Tuck the ends in tightly so that the filling is completely sealed. Twist the cling film at either end and roll the chicken parcel along the work surface so that the roulade firms up. Place the chicken into the fridge until you are ready to use it. A few hours is ideal but if you don’t have time just do 30 minutes.
  • When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Heat a non stick pan over a medium-high heat and remove the chicken from the clingfilm. If the chicken starts to unroll or there are gaps, feel free to ‘pin’ it together with some cocktail sticks. Brown the chicken all over in the pan. Let it get a nice golden colour as it won’t really brown any further in the oven.
  • Transfer to the baking tray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • While the chicken is in the oven make the sauce. Keep the pan that you browned the chicken in on the heat. If some of the stuffing fell into the pan, leave that there to add flavour to the sauce.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil and add the finely diced shallot. Fry until soft.
  • Add the sherry or brandy and cook over a high heat until the alcohol burns off. Add the stock and sherry vinegar and cook over a medium heat stirring occasionally until the sauce has reduced slightly.
  • Add a pinch of paprika – this is optional, it is just to bring out the flavour of the chorizo in the chicken. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing and plating it. To finish the sauce add in a tablespoon of butter just to give it a nice gloss. Pour the sauce over the chicken and scatter over the flaked almonds.
  • Serve with potatoes or saffron orzo or just a green salad if you like. Green beans or sugar snap peas are a great side with it.

 

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I should have put the green beans on the plate before taking the snap to add even more colour!

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