Ever since I made my Turkey Roulade around the holidays I have wanted to make another roulade.
But I didn’t want to buy an entire turkey breast.
And I wanted to make it easy enough for a weeknight meal.
I also wanted it to be just as delicious.
Enter the chicken boob.
Yes, I’m going to call them chicken boobs and you’re going to have to learn to deal with that. Dealing with it? Good.
You probably belong to one of two camps when it comes to chicken boobs. You either think they are the best thing ever because they are low-fat and high protein and simple to make or you think they are tasteless boring cuts of meat that should forever be banished in favor of more flavorful meaty things.
I think over the years I have belonged to both camps. Before I was a vegetarian, I would usually have chicken boob a couple of times a week because it was easy to make and had no fat. No fat was a good thing to me back in the day. Then I decided meat was not for me and dropped the boob like it was hot.
When I started to reintroduce meat back into my diet around October of last year, I avoided chicken boobs. Because I started listening to everyone in the “chicken boobs are the worst/most boring meat you can put into your body” camp. I fell in love with chicken thighs and drumsticks. I added ground lamb and turkey to my regular menu. I experimented with all different cuts of pork. I roasted whole chickens and skipped over the boob for the dark and tasty meat.
But I realized I wasn’t giving the boob it’s fair dues. Sure, it isn’t the most flavorful cut of meat. It isn’t the fanciest. It doesn’t have the most fat. But you know what? It doesn’t need to be those things to still be good and serve you. Most people know how to handle chicken boobs, they are easy to find, they can take on a plethora of flavors so it’s easy to add variety to your meals, and they are usually relatively inexpensive.
So that’s my long story about chicken boobs and telling you to give them a chance. Especially give them a chance as a roulade stuffed with pesto. Because if there is one thing I know in this life, it’s that pesto is the besto.
Thank you Phoebe Buffay.
Pesto Chicken Roulade- serves 4
For one breast: Calories: 231 Total Fat: 15.57g Carbs: 1.12g Fiber: .4g Protein: 22.28g
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup loosely packed parsley, leaves only
- 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro, leaves only
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon or pork belly, optional BUT delicious!
- Toast the walnuts in a dry pan over medium-high heat until lightly brown. Set aside to cool for a minute.
- Add the garlic and cooled walnuts to a food processor. Pulse a few times until you have a crumbly texture. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, and pepper and pulse a few more times.
- With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until everything comes together. If using, stir in the bacon or pork belly and then set the pesto aside while you get the chicken ready.
- On a clean sturdy surface, lay out a large piece of parchment paper. Place one chicken breast towards one side of the paper and fold over the other side. Use a meat mallet or heavy skillet to flatten the breast to about 1/4 inch thick. Do this for all the breasts.
- Preheat the oven to 400 and lightly oil a casserole dish. If you have a meat rack or cookie rack, place that in the bottom of the dish. If not, don’t worry about it!
- Once the chicken is flattened, spread the pesto down the middle of each breast. Be generous! Roll the chicken up and place in the dish seam side down. Continue with each breast and then sprinkle the top with salt and pepper.
- Place in the oven and cook for 30 to 40 minutes. The chicken is done when a meat thermometer reads 165. Let the chicken cool for five minutes before serving and devouring.