Chicken Roulades and Braised Winter Greens

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For this French classic, Gruyère and spinach are rolled up in chicken and cooked until it becomes lusciously melted, while a simple chicken broth reduction pulls it all together. I came across it as I was looking for a different weeknight, boneless, skinless, chicken recipe and found it on Delish.com — apparently triple-tested at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute… So, la-dee-da!

Instead of purchasing the more expensive chicken cutlets, I chose boneless, skinless breasts, slit them down the middle vertically, and then pounded them thin. Voila, chicken cutlets at almost half the price!

As sides we made some Braised Winter Greens—in this case kale—found on CooksIllustrated.com, and a Mushroom and Herb Risotto from Trader Joe’s, one of our all-time favorite places to shop.

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Assembling the roulade with spinach and cheese mixture.

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Browning rolled roulades in skillet.

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Complete meal of chicken roulades, herbed mushroom risotto and braised kale.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 1 clove (small) garlic, crushed with press
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 8 (about 3 ounces each) thin-sliced chicken cutlets
  • 1 box (9- to 10-ounce) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel

Directions

  1. In small bowl, combine Gruyère, mayonnaise, garlic, 1 teaspoon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. On each piece chicken, spread 1 heaping tablespoon spinach up to 3/4 inch from edges. Place 2 teaspoons cheese mixture on spinach at one short end, in a strip, 1 inch from edges. Roll up, starting at end with cheese. Secure with toothpicks to enclose filling.
  3. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet on medium-high; add chicken. Cook 5 to 8 minutes or until browned, turning occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; add 1 tablespoon water. Cover; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (165 degrees F), turning over once. Transfer to plate and cover with foil.
  4. Into same skillet on medium-high, stir chicken broth, lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 4 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Stir in lemon peel.
  5. Remove toothpicks from chicken and slice. Serve with sauce and roasted potatoes.

Now for our side dish recipe:

BRAISED WINTER GREENS

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 5 teaspoons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds kale or collard greens, ribs removed, leaves chopped into 3-inch pieces and rinsed (about 24 loosely packed cups)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Table salt
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  • Ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add half of greens and stir until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Add remaining greens, broth, water, and ¼ teaspoon salt; quickly cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 25 to 35 minutes for kale and 35 to 45 minutes for collards.
  2. Remove lid and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated (bottom of pot will be almost dry and greens will begin to sizzle), 8 to 12 minutes. (NOTE: Ours actually took 25 minutes more for the liquid to almost evaporate. So the next time I may decrease the amount of broth from 3 cups down to 2 1/2 cups.)
  3. Remove pot from heat; stir in 2 teaspoons lemon juice and remaining tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and remaining teaspoon lemon juice. Serve.
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