While I was preparing this dish all I could imagine was the look of great disdain when he discovered there was indeed stuffing in the roulade and him rapidly scrapping it off at plating time. However I was greatly, and I mean greatly surprised. He not only ate the whole thing with the filling but he said if he knew stuffing could taste this good he would have tried it much sooner. To quote him: "I just never liked over bearing savory stuffing, but this is not like that. It's really tasty and very good. Great job my dear."
He is right. The stuffing is light, yet full of flavor from the applesauce and the fresh thyme. It's well balanced and does not overpower the chicken; rather it complements it nicely. I am so satisfied with this recipe and plan to put it in my regular line up of meals. We served it with on sale fresh green beans and a beautiful side of cauliflower mashed potatoes. I had a part of a head of cauliflower that needed to be used so the choice was clear. I've made mashed potatoes and orange cauliflower before and it's so delicious. If you haven't tried it, please do so.
The fact that it's a roulade may seem like it would be complicated or difficult to prepare but trust me when I say it's not. Anyone can make this delicious and appealing looking dinner for the family. And, the good thing is for a family of four this whole plate of food cost me approximately $8.83 to make. It may be a bit higher for you unless you take advantage of on sale chicken cutlets or whole breasts. I'll explain later in the post how to take the whole boneless skinless breast and use it for this recipe to make it economical.
Cook's note: you will need butcher's twine to wrap the roulades which gets cut off at serving time.
- 4 chicken cutlets - pounded down to 1/8 inch thick OR
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts - split in half lengthwise then pounded down to 1/8 inch thick
- 1 cup Stove Top Sage Stuffing Mix
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup plain applesauce
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (Please use fresh if you can. If not, 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Start by prepping your chicken. Wash under cold water. Dry with paper towels. Pound down each cutlet you bought or made with the large breasts between plastic wrap until they are 1/8 inch thick.
- Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken.
- Combine in a small bowl the stuffing mix, chicken broth, apple sauce, fresh thyme with a pinch of salt and some black pepper to taste. Mix well using your hands to make sure the mix is fully incorporated and you break down the bread from the stuffing.
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- Add some of the mix to each breast leaving a gap of chicken on either side.
- Starting from the narrow end roll up the chicken as you would for a jelly roll.
- Tie some butcher's twine around the chicken about every 1 inch of the width of the roll.
- Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Allow the oil to get really hot. Brown on all sides. Takes about 10 minutes to do this.
- If your pan is oven proof, place the whole shooting match in the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°. If you are not sure, place them on a shallow baking sheet.