One thing that is so easy to make, yet looks so very impressive, is a Roulade. Roulade is from the French word Roule, or Roll. Simply put it is a meat rolled up with some type of filling. The filling can be almost anything, from a cheese type spread, vegetable or even another type of meat. I was introduced to Roulade's by my good friend Jeremy. Since then I have made several different types. This weekend I decided to try my hand at a Southwestern Chicken Roulade.
I started with 4 boneless, skinless Chicken breasts which I pounded out to about 1/4 inch and filled it with a layer of Chorizo and Pepper-Jack Cheese.
Chorizo is a pork sausage which is highly seasoned. It is produced throughout Europe, Spain and Portugal in particular. It is also a staple of Mexico. The seasoning used in Chorizo is really dependent on what country it is produced in. The Mexican influenced Chorizo which we get here in Texas is generally seasoned with among other things Cumin, Garlic, Paprika and of course Chile Peppers.
You start by browning your chorizo and breaking it up into small pieces. If you can get the bulk chorizo, great. If all you can get is the chorizo Sausages, be sure to remove the outer skin by taking a sharp knife, cut down the length of the sausage and remove the outer skin.
Next take all your pent up aggression out on the Chicken. Place your boneless, skinless chicken breast on a piece of plastic wrap and cover. Using a meat mallet, a cast iron fry pan, rolling pin or even a heavy saucepan, strike the chicken at a slight angle until you get it to about 1/4 inch in thickness. By doing it at a slight angle it allows the chicken to stretch out in one direction.
Once the chorizo is browned, drain and allow to cool. Once cool mix the Cheese with the chorizo together and apply a thin layer over the chicken to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Fold the sides in and roll the chicken up starting with the narrowest end and secure with a toothpick.
Spray the roulade's with cooking spray and gently roll in a shallow bowl of masa harina*.
***Masa Harina is a Mexican flour used for making tortillas and tamales. DO NOT substitute all purpose flour or corn meal for the Masa Harina, since they are manufactured different ways and taste differently. Most stores carry some type of Masa Harina in their Hispanic sections. Just look for tortilla or tamale flour.
If you are unable to find the Masa Harina, simply go without a flour coating and brown the outside of the roulade.
Place the roulade's into a 9x9 baking dish which has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 375 F. oven for 30 minutes or until done (165 F. internal temp). Allow to cool slightly, then top each with a serving of your favorite picante sauce.