Need a dish that’s fancy enough for a special occasion? Chicken Roulade with Goat Cheese and Dates will wow your guests.
After three weeks of being on the road when The Grillmaster and I evacuated for Hurricane Irene, we were so tired of eating out we decided to hit the supermarket and get cheese, crackers and grapes one night for dinner. It was perfect!
While in the checkout line, I saw a magazine featuring diabetic recipes for the holidays. I bought the magazine and read it when we got back to our hotel room. A recipe for chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese and dates grabbed me. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head for weeks. It sounded like a great meal for us – The Grillmaster is a HUGE fan of dates and I can’t seem to get enough goat cheese lately.
The original recipe called for bone-in chicken breasts. You slit a hole in the meaty side and stuff the breasts with the filling. I decided to use boneless breasts instead and do mine as a chicken roulade. This chicken was delicious – creamy, sweet and very filling. If your grocery store is anything like mine, it only sells gargantuan chicken breasts. If you can’t find small ones, just use 2-3 of the larger ones. Once you slice them up, no one will know how many there were to start!
This would be a great dish to pull out when company’s coming over. You could roll and brown the chicken ahead of time, then throw it in the oven after your guests arrive. Serve with edamame or squeeze a wedge of lemon over some fresh steamed broccoli and you’re done!
Like this chicken roulade? You might also enjoy Turkey Roulade with Quinoa, Swiss Chard, and Prosciutto.
Chicken Roulade with Goat Cheese and Dates
- 2 tablespoons pitted whole dates chopped
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1½ pounds total)
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ounces soft goat cheese chèvre
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Place dates in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand 5 minutes so they will get plump.
Heat a small nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add almonds and stir until toasted, just a few minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place chicken breasts on a cutting board, smooth side down. Cover with plastic wrap and pound to ¼-inch thickness (or as thin as you can). Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Drain water from dates. Combine dates with goat cheese, almonds, and thyme; mix well. Spread each chicken breast with ¼ of the goat cheese mixture. (Don’t go all the way to the edges.) Starting at the narrow end, roll the chicken breasts up and secure with kitchen twine or wooden toothpicks.
Heat olive oil in ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add chicken rolls and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total. You don’t want the chicken to cook, you just want it to get brown on the outside. Turn chicken pieces so the seam side is down and bake for 15 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked through.
Combine honey and lemon juice in a small bowl. Brush mixture over chicken and bake an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove twine/toothpicks, slice rolls and serve immediately.