Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stuffed Chicken Roulades

Bilinski's Sausage offers the finest organic, natural and healthy chicken sausages made today. With an amazing array of flavors, their sausages and meatballs offer myriad options for tasty, healthy meals.

These stuffed chicken roulades combine flavorful layers of ingredients and textures. The herbed spinach filling, rich with Manchego, with a slight crunch from toasted pine nuts, provides a tasty cushion to the star of the show: Bilinski’s Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage. This delicious, slightly sweet and tangy sausage is the perfect centerpiece to these roulades, made with boneless, skinless chicken thighs (which are the perfect size for a half link!) A quick pan sauce takes this main dish to the next level of flavor and presentation.

Stuffed Chicken Roulades
by Gary
Serves 3-4

2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided use
1 Tablespoon minced shallot
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 ounces fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
1 pinch Aleppo pepper
1 pinch white pepper
1 pinch brown sugar
1 cup shredded Manchego cheese
2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 links Bilinski Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage, cut in half width-wise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock or water
1 Tablespoon butter
Freshly chopped parsley

Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until slightly translucent, about 30 seconds. Add garlic, stir and cook just until fragrant, about 10 seconds more. Do not burn. Add spinach and toss, stirring until wilted and cooked down, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme, tarragon, Aleppo, white pepper, and brown sugar. Stir to mix well, then remove from heat. Place spinach mixture in a large bowl. Stir in Manchego and pine nuts, combining well. Wipe out skillet, and set aside.

On a baking sheet or cutting board, lay out chicken thighs “skin” side down. Remove any large pieces of fat and flatten any thick areas by carefully slicing and laying meat open with a sharp knife. Take care not to cut the flesh all the way through. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully spoon about 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture along the chicken, trying to maintain an even layer, and press down into the chicken meat. Lay a half-link of Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage on top of spinach. Bring ends of thigh up and over the sausage, and secure tightly with toothpicks. Season the outside of the thigh with salt and pepper. Set aside. Repeat until all thighs are stuffed and secured.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat remaining olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add thighs and cook, browning well on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Turn carefully so stuffing is not lost. Once thighs are well-browned, place skillet in oven and cook until chicken is done and sausage is heated through, about 20 minutes. Do not overcook.

Remove chicken to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Place skillet over medium-high heat, add mustard and chicken stock or water. Bring to a boil, whisking to incorporate any browned bits (or escaped stuffing) and reduce slightly. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and herbs. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter until melted.

To serve: After chicken has rested at least ten minutes, remove toothpicks and carefully slice into roulades. Arrange on platter, spoon pan sauce over and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.

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