As food bloggers, I think we’ve all come across our nemesis. That one particular recipe or technique that appears on everyone else’s blog but yours, taunting you, “make me! make me!” Only, you never have the time. Or you try, and you fail. Leaving you wondering why everyone else can do it and you can’t. For a long time my food nemesis was perfectly piped pillows of frosting on top of cupcakes. Thankfully, that was an easy one to conquer. Another one is madeleines. And I swear, despite bookmarking tons and tons of recipes, I just haven’t had the time.
It’s understandable with sweets, because they always scream “I’m so darn pretty. Eat me. Wink.” But you might not expect it from stuffed chicken. I’m talking the fancy shmancy chicken roulades sliced every so perfectly and not falling apart. Kind of like you see above. Kind of like what I did for the very first time just recently, after many less-attractive attempts at stuffed chicken.
I must have seen a lot of chicken roulades in the forty-eight hours before receiving a package from Il de France with a generous wedge of their creamy brie cheese, because I immediately knew exactly what I would make with it. Obviously, it was a lot more inspiring than any other cheese in my fridge. What makes it so?
First of all, let’s take what you can discover right from the website: Il de France collects the milk to make the cheese on the very same day, offering the utmost in freshness. It must make a difference, right? Right. Upon opening the cheese, you are greeted by a pleasantly fresh smell, with none of that “stinky cheese” note you might find from others. But my favorite part of Il de France brie cheese was its smooth, creamy texture, straight from the refrigerator. This particular characteristic makes it easy to work with and I imagine it would be a great choice for warm dishes like omelets or risotto. Finally, how does it taste? Exactly like brie should! Light, slightly nutty, and just a smidge earthy – but without any pungent aftertaste.
It worked amazingly well in my Apple and Brie Chicken Roulade, becoming one of our favorite meals this month. As my husband keeps saying, “brie, cooked, is like the best thing ever.” If you don’t believe us and want to try it yourself (or perhaps you know what we’re talking about and want to join in our pleasure), you’re in luck. Il de France is giving away a basket of cheeses to FIVE lucky readers – keep reading for the details!
Apple & Brie Chicken Roulade
Yield: 2 servings
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 shallot, minced
1/2 of a large apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 5oz each
2oz soft Brie cheese, cut into small pieces
In a small bowl, combine the thyme, rosemary, salt, and black pepper.
Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Saute the shallot for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the apple, nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme and rosemary mixture. Cook for about 5-7 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until apple is tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Carefully butterfly the chicken breasts using a paring knife, cutting in half through the center, stopping before reaching all the way through. Lay out two pieces of plastic wrap on a work surface. Open each piece of chicken and lay each on its own piece of plastic. Top each with a second piece of plastic wrap, and pound to 1/4" thickness with the flat side of a meat tenderizer.
Remove top piece of plastic from each chicken breast, and top each one with half of the shallot-apple mixture, spreading into an even layer. Scatter the pieces of brie cheese over. Roll each one as tightly as you can, wrapping it with the plastic underneath. Place the rolled chicken breasts, wrapped in plastic, on a baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium sized oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from the freezer, unwrap, and season with the remaining thyme-rosemary mixture. Carefully transfer to the skillet, seam-side down, and cook for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn and continue cooking to brown on all sides.
Turn off heat and transfer skillet to the preheated oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center. Let rest for a few minutes before slicing with a sharp knife.
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 16.7 g
Saturated Fat 6.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 7.7 g
Cholesterol 110.5 mg
Sodium 273.0 mg
Potassium 545.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 12.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Sugars 5.5 g
Protein 39.3 g
Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com