Chicken Roulade with Pork, Apple and Date Stuffing

Chicken breast fillets, with pork apple and date stuffing.  Now the stuffing mixture of pork, date and apple came from a ready made stuffing I saw in Sainsbury's and I just had to have a go at making it myself! 
 Not the best of pictures but I admit to forgetting to take one of them finished - so this was a rush job as I didn't want mine getting cold!
I wrapped the chicken in pancetta and served with goose fat roasted potatoes, some nice veg and a Marsala gravy.
Of course if you can't be doing with making the stuffing yourself you can buy it from Sainsbury's, it's in their 'Taste the Difference' range.

To serve four you will need:
4 skinless chicken breast fillets
12 slices of pancetta - nice thin slices, not too fatty

For the stuffing:
4 fat Cumberland sausages - only buy good quality ones with low fat content
a knob of butter - about 15g
a tiny glug of oil - about 1/2 a tablespoon
1 large onion
1 fat clove of garlic
3 rashers of streaky bacon
a few dates - chopped
1/2 of a Bramley apple - peeled, cored and chopped
a pinch of sugar
1 egg
a little salt and a good pinch of black pepper to taste
a good pinch of nutmeg

How to do it:
If you have a food processor, throw in the onion and garlic and whiz it up for a few seconds until they're finely chopped.  Don't bother washing it up just yet you will need it again in a minute.
*If you haven't got a food processor - be sure to chop the onion into small dice.
Heat up the butter and oil in a frying pan and throw in the onion and garlic.
Cook over a medium to low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon and don't let anything burn.
Now whiz up the bacon in the food processor for a few seconds until it's finely chopped.
Add the bacon to the onions and garlic.  Once the onions are nice and soft add the chopped apple, a pinch of sugar and the dates.  Stir gently for a couple of minutes (to take the crunch away from the apple) before removing from the heat and let it all get cold.

Remove the sausages from their skin and throw it away.
Make sure the onion mixture is cold.  Now put the sausage meat into a bowl along with the cooked onions, garlic and bacon and the egg.  Add a little salt and some black pepper and the nutmeg.
Give everything a good stir - best to use a big fork and make cutting and folding movements to be sure everything mixes together nicely.
You can at this stage take a small amount of the mixture and fry it in a pan till cooked and then have a taste to check the seasoning is okay.  
Now, look at the amount of stuffing you have and if you don't think you'll use it all, remove some before you begin messing about with the chicken.  
You can freeze this, but only if your sausages haven't previously been frozen.  Or of course, you can just cook it separately to the chicken in case someone wants more!  

Time to get the chicken ready:
 Take one breast fillet at a time.  Lay the fillet on a piece of cling film on your work surface, with the nicer side down.  Carefully slice part way through to open out the fillet.  Cover with another piece of cling film so it looks like a sandwich.  Now bash with something bash-able.  Don't go too heavy with that bashing though - you only want to make the fillets a little thinner, just so you can roll them and stuff the center.  
Now, you need to bring the chicken round so both ends meet and using both hands make the chicken into a cup shape.
Push a bit of stuffing into the center and wrap 3 slices of pancetta round the chicken.  Yes it is all a bit tricky but it can be done - even I managed it so it can't be that bad.  Once you have the pancetta wrapped around, wrap the fillet in cling film so it keeps it's shape.  Repeat this with the other three fillets.
Keep the chicken wrapped in the cling film and of course refrigerated until you are going to cook them.
   When you're ready to cook, remove them from the fridge about 30 to 40 minutes before you do.  Why?  Because if they go into the oven stone cold it will alter the cooking time - same with any meat or chicken dish.
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F or Gas 6
Remove the cling film and put them into a baking tray.
   Cook for about 35 to 40 minutes - check they are cooked through before serving.
    Amazingly they do keep their shape and don't fall apart during cooking!

1 comment

  1. A Delicious concoction from Janice...I'm going try this out!


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