Chicken Filled with Bacon, Almonds and Cheese

This chicken roulade (or roll) has a wonderful mixture of smooth cream cheese with bacon and almonds, and a hint of olives.

They are a bit fiddly to make, but well worth the effort. The taste is very delicate and the flavours are brilliant mixed together.

You need to flatten out the chicken as it is nicer if it is thinner, however this is optional.  I always cut off the bits of fat if there is any on chicken breasts, and I generally use Mt Barker (A West Australian chicken company) as I find their free range chickens are nicer than the cheaper ones.

I always emphasize, however, that you never over cook chicken breasts or they become dry - if you just cook them till the pink is gone, they will be tender and delicious.

This recipe is suitable at a buffet, as you can slice the chicken into thin slices and serve with any other finger foods.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Makes: 5 servings

2 large or 4 smaller chicken breasts
125 g Philadelphia cream cheese, crumbled
65 g shortcut bacon, chopped
¼ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 small egg
1 tbsp chopped oregano
Salt & pepper to taste
Potatoes (optional)
¾ cup white wine
¾ cup chicken stock
1-2 tsp cornflour, blended with 1 tbsp water

I like my bacon crispy so I fried this first though you need not do this.  I always use shortcut bacon as it has little fat on it.

Pound the chicken to be slightly thinner, and then carefully cut a pocket out of each chicken breast being careful not to cut right through.

Combine the cream cheese, bacon, breadcrumbs, egg, olives, almonds, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Mix these thoroughly together.

Divide this filling evenly between the chicken fillets, and put in the pockets you have cut. Press the filling in firmly pushing it right into the chicken pockets.

Secure the chicken with the toothpicks.

Heat some oil in a non-stick fry pan or wok, and add the chicken.

Cook the chicken for about 3-4 minutes on each side taking care that the filling does not come out.

Remove it, and place it in a greased baking dish.  I then microwaved some potatoes till they were almost done, and added these into the dish, but this step is optional.

Cover and bake in a moderate oven at around 180° for about 10 - 20 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through.

Meanwhile, add the wine and stock to the same fry pan, and simmer this until it is reduced by about a third.

Add the blended cornflour and any juices from the chicken, and continue stirring until it is thickened.

Slice the chicken and place it on serving plates, and top with the sauce. 

I also cooked broccolini  while the chicken was in the oven, and heated some left over pumpkin with it. However, this meal can be eaten with almost any accompaniments. 

You could also serve them uncut, however I think it looks a lot nicer when they are sliced and you can see the filling in the middle of the chicken.


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