This is the Chicken Roulade of our dreams, the one we first experienced in Florence and the hill towns of Tuscany… the extravagant chicken roll that incorporates every savory ingredient we ever wanted to include.
Each roll is packed with so many layers of delicious that they must be tied together with cord, like culinary presents from the Umami Gods.
First, air chilled free range chicken thighs pounded thin.
Then a very thin layer of aged Prosciutto ham from Italy for that crazy umami ham vibe. Then the thin layer of bright green fresh basil from the garden.
Then a layer of smoked Provolone cheese, even more savory and when it melts together with all the other crazy stuff, just fabulous.
Now a layer of creamy fragrant Piquillo peppers from Basque Country, with that eye dazzling iridescent red color.
And finally, at the center of this Roulade, a core of caramelized onions, garlic seared spinach, olive tapenade, creamy goat cheese with the herbs of Provence, bright red sun dried tomatoes and sauted porcini mushrooms to complete the roll.
In a 14 inch cast iron pan, we saute in olive olive oil these cord wrapped packages until they are seared and melty inside, about 20 minutes.
When each Roulade is sliced open, revealed are all these layers of savory other worldly flavors.
But THEN we serve this crazy sumptuous Roulade with a Mushroom & Thyme Cream Sauce with Dijon Mustard for an umami explosion.
Ingredients for the sauce…
1 pound brown cremini or porcini mushrooms, cut into thick slices
2 – 4 shallots (depending on size) or 1 large onion, minced
4 – 5 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup chardonnay
1/2 cup Marsala (or Sherry)
1/2 cup chicken broth (bone broth)
1 1/2 cups cream
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 oz butter (1/2 stick)
1 tablespoon duck fat (optional)
4 strips bacon, fried and chopped
20 thyme stems, leaves removed
1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
1 tablespoon porcini powder, (if you don’t have fresh porcini, just buy dried porcini at the market and grind to a powder, optional)
2 teaspoons salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons for the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon for the mushrooms
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon zest
In a 12 inch saute pan, add the butter and the oils and on medium to high heat, saute the shallots or onions until they are opaque. Now add the mushrooms and garlic, saute until the mushroom slices are seared and very browned, about 12 minutes. Now add the salt and pepper reserved for the mushrooms, and the porcini powder.
Add the chicken broth and the white wine at the same time to deglaze, about 30 seconds. Add the marsala, Dijon and the cream, stir well until all liquids are simmered and blended. This gravy should be a gorgeous creamy patina. Add back the lemon zest, paprika and the chopped bacon.
This is one of the most memorable and extraordinary dishes of our wild savory kitchen.