It’s time for a recipe that I actually did during a busy weekday. I know. Progress. Typically I have Sunday dinner recipes that I put up and the meal as a whole can take anywhere from 2 to 4 Chopped episodes (so 1.5 to 3 hours or so). But this was one I did as a break from doing homework. Productive procrastination at its finest.
My inspiration was that I had a thing of broccolini that I needed to use but had nothing particular in mind for it. What is broccolini? Broccolini is a hybrid between broccoli and kai-lan that was first created in Yokohama, Japan. I don’t typically see it used in the real world. My only experience with broccolini is seeing it on television in cooking shows like Top Chef and things that are far too advanced for me.
But broccolini (as seen above) is essentially broccoli with longer stalks and smaller florets. And it tastes pretty similar to broccoli, so I like it. And the longer stalks will make it the perfect filling for my simple roulade. There are probably thousands of different roulades, each more complicated than the next, but I was going for something quick here. And it’s essentially a entree and a side in one. Win-win.
On the vegetable and seasonings side, I sliced up some onions, garlic, parsley, and cut the ends off the broccolini. To cook the broccolini, I first boiled it in salted water for a couple minutes and then shocked it in cold water. Blanching it like that will make the broccolini nice and tender in the roulade and it keeps that bright green color of the broccolini.
As for the chicken, I took a single chicken breast and cut it in half lengthwise. This will give thin slices of chicken that will let it cook faster in the pan. But that’s for later.
Once my broccolini was cooked, I heated up some oil and half of the garlic and threw the broccolini in there. Always remember to season the broccolini as it sautes a little bit.
This will give the broccolini a little bit more flavor in the chicken. And then it’s time to roll them up. So I use kitchen twine, but I think you can use toothpicks or skewers instead. So I laid out two pieces of twin lengthwise under the chicken, placed the broccolini in the center of the chicken and rolled it up. Then just tie the twine around to keep it held together and you’re done. Trim the remaining the extra twine and it’s all ready for searing.
Before I put the roulades in the pan, I mixed together a little bit of cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a bowl and rolled the chicken in this mixture. It will let a little bit of a crust form on the chicken, it will season the chicken, and it will help thicken the sauce that is about to be put over the chicken.
Then I throw the roulades into the same pan I sauteed the broccolini and cooked it for a couple minutes on each side.
About halfway through searing the chicken, I added in the onions and a what was left of the garlic. Once the onions start to soften and the chicken has been seared on each side, it’s time to add in the sauce.
For this I mixed in the vegetable broth, balsamic reduction, and the parsley. If you don’t have balsamic reduction, then regular balsamic vinegar will do, but the amount will need to be doubled to get the same balsamic flavor. Then I brought the liquid to a boil and threw a lid over the pan to let this steam to cook the chicken all the way through. Every once in a while I would turn the roulade in the sauce to ensure even coating. If the liquid starts getting a little low, you can add a little bit for vegetable broth.
And that’s it. Then you can serve this on a plate and sprinkle a little bit of the sauce and the onions over the top of your chicken. If you want the sauce to be a little thicker, then just take the lid off and let it reduce down to the desired thickness.
Balsamic Chicken Roulade
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 chicken breast
- 1 bunch broccolini
- ½ white onion, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 ¾ cup vegetable broth
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tbs reduced balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup parsley
- Slice chicken in half to lengthwise
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil
- Throw in broccolini and boil for 5 minutes
- In a skillet, heat olive oil and 1 clove garlic over medium heat
- Strain and add broccolini to the oil and garlic
- Saute for ~1 minute
- Place broccolini into the center of halved chicken breasts
- Using kitchen twine, roll chicken around the broccolini and tie to keep chicken in place
- Mix together cornstarch, salt, and pepper
- Roll chicken in cornstarch mixture and place into the skillet
- Add in onions and remaining garlic
- Sear on all sides for ~3 minutes a side
- Add balsamic, vegetable broth, and parsley
- Coat chicken in balsamic mixture and steam for another 8 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken is cooked through