cheese grits

What’s green, yellow, and delicious?

These are some happy sprouts
Eater rating: 4.5 / 5  4.5

Chicken roulade stuffed with spicy Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella, julienned sun-dried tomatoes, and sauteed fennel and crimini mushrooms deglazed with merlot. The roulade was served with buttery fresh herb and garlic polenta and roasted brussels sprouts.

brussels sprouts
Despite popular believe, brussels sprouts kick ass
T: This meal rocked. It was all very tasty… equally tasty, really. The brussels sprouts were the most photogenic, but it was all ridiculously tasty.
A: i agree for the most part. i think the chicken wasn’t the most tasty stuffed chicken i’ve ever made… but at the same time, it was damn tasty!
T: the chicken reminded me of the kind of thing you would find at a butcher in Lafayette. Sausage inside of another meat with lots o’ seasoning. LOVE it!
A: sweet! i dig the Lafayette butcher style. they really do have good meat in Lafayette. you know, what could really be better than meat… inside of meat?!? i mean a mushroom inside of a mushroom just doesn’t get me going like meat inside of meat.T: the chicken reminded me of the kind of thing you would find at a butcher in Lafayette. Sausage inside of another meat with lots o’ seasoning. LOVE it!
T: yeah, i agree. And it’s even better when you have a mushroom and a meat inside of another meat… inside of a giant mushroom.T: the chicken reminded me of the kind of thing you would find at a butcher in Lafayette. Sausage inside of another meat with lots o’ seasoning. LOVE it!stuffed chicken
Chicken stuffed with goodness
A: uh, dude. i’m kind of scared of mushrooms that big…
T: forget the last mushroom. But mushrooms and meat inside of meat.!
A: don’t forget the fresh mozzarella and sauteed fennel too!
T: mmmm yeah!
A: oooo, and i forgot the julienned sun-dried tomatoes!
T: ok so this wasn’t exactly what you would find at a butcher in Lafayette… mmm mmm, Mandy.
A: :-P you best be taking back that forsaken name you just called me.
T: Mandy is a glorious name.
A: hmm well, maybe we should start calling you mandy then, because i, for one, don’t like it! ;-)
T: Please don’t call me Mandy. That’s not my name!
A: okay, Pepita Brittle.
T: Thank you, Bobby. ;-)
A: yes, indeed! thanks, bobby! :-D so did you enjoy the polenta? i think that might have been my favorite part of the whole meal.
T: the grits? yeah they were awesome! You make the best grits, seriously. Grits are often almost flavorless. These grits did not have that problem. They were loaded with awesomeness.
A: i definitely feel you there. for like the first twentysome years of my life i was just being served flavorless, grody grits. and let me tell you, it’s only been the last few years that i’ve truly become a big polenta/grits fan.
T: I’ve rarely had grits that I would call grody but… I do enjoy the word grody.
A: hehehe :-) yeah. you know how all kids have a few things they don’t like? even the un-picky ones? well i was an unpicky child who just happened to have a big problem with grits!
T: that’s crazy. I think most kids like grits… am I wrong?
A: yeah. you’re totally wrong on this on! (imho)
T: Ok, yeah, I’m right. ;-)
A: no, you’re not! but you know what was totally right? those brussels sprouts! normally the produce market has these gigantic sprouts, but this time they had these delightful baby sprouts that we soooo tender and absolutely perfect!
T: they were awesome. As was everything else. I give the meal overall a 4.65/5. It was absolutely delicious, and I think you could get people liking both grits and brussels sprouts… bring over some dark-siders, you know?
A: hell yeah! it’s always good to bring people over to the… light-side? or the side of tasty! i give this meal a 4.35/5. it was really quite good. it just wasn’t the best chicken roulade i’ve ever made, therefore it doesn’t score higher with me.
T: that’s what held down my score a little, too. The grits and brussels sprouts were out of this world. The chicken was awesome, but not your best ever.
A: precisely. that just means i need to make another….better… version soon!
T: aaaahhhhh yeeeahhhhh.

we’ve a wonderful friend coming down in a few weeks and i need to make her a decadent dessert for her birthday! any creative or yummy ideas anyone?!?
A Roulade Recipe, by Amanda
Chicken Roulade with Italian Sausage, Fennel, Crimini Mushrooms, and Mozzarella

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 lb spicy italian sausage
1/2 bulb of fennel, small dice
8 crimini mushrooms, cut in half then sliced
2 tbsp dry red wine
2/3 cup fresh mozzarella, small cubes
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil), diced
6 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
butcher's twine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the pan. Once the pan has heated, add the mushrooms. Saute, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes. Season the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan with red wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits stuck on the bottom. Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.

Replace pan over the heat then add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. Once the pan has reheated, add the diced fennel. Season the fennel with salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the fennel is tender.

Once the fennel is tender, remove it from the pan and add it to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the sauteed mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, and uncooked italian sausage to the bowl. Mix to thoroughly combined ingredients, trying not to overwork the meat.

Place a large piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board, then place 1 chicken breast onto the plastic wrap. Place another large piece of plastic wrap on top of the breast. Using a rolling pin wrap in plastic wrap (for easy clean-up), pound the chicken breast with swift firm hits. start from the center and work out to the edges until the breast is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Repeat this process with the remaining breasts.

Layout one of the pounded breasts horizontally lengthwise on a flat surface. Season both sides of the chicken liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Put about 1/4 of the sausage mixture into the center region of the chicken. Begin rolling the breasts like a burrito by folding in the sides of the breast then rolling the edge of the chicken closest to you over the filling until the breast wraps around and completely encompasses the filling. Ideally the edges will be just barely overlapping but as long as the edges touch you should be alright after you finish the tying process. Slide a piece of butchers twine under one side of the chicken - about 3/4 inch from the edge. Tie the twine tightly around the chicken. Repeat this step with 3 more pieces of twine evenly spaced across the roulade with the last tie about 3/4 inch from the other edge. Using a long piece of twine, tie the roulade lengthwise, weaving the twine in and out of the perpendicular ties to ensure the ends stay tucked as well. Stuff and tie the remaining pounded breasts similarly.

Preheat an oven-safe pan (such as a cast-iron skillet) over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add two tbsp olive oil and the roulades to the pan. Brown the roulades on all sides. Once the chicken has completely browned, turn the roulades seam side down, then place the pan in the preheated oven. Bake at 350 until a meat thermometer positioned in the center of the roulade reads 155 degrees. Remove the breasts from the oven and loosely cover with aluminum foil. Allow the roulades to rest for at least 5 minutes. After the breasts have had a chance to rest, remove all the twine, then cut the roulades into about 3/4 inch thick slices. Serve hot. Enjoy!

8 comments so far:

  1. Nicole says:

    Mmmmm…again with the brussels sprouts!! I want them.

  2. Amanda says:

    i know, nicole! i think i may have a slight brussels sprout addiction. ;-) can you get them over in italy? i certainly hope so! take care!

  3. Bobby says:

    I bet they have them in Brussels!!!!!They do look sexy in the picture, dark, green, big round and juicy!!!!. Oh yeah, i meant to say…

  4. Erielle says:

    Wow, that is positvely mouth-watering. I can’t wait until you post the recipe!

  5. I hated grits as a kid, but then I had the grits at Mesa Grill (alongside that awesome jalapeno jam) and they are the most awesome, so I am no longer a grits nay-sayer…Brussels sprouts on the other hand…I have to admit, I had a tiny little leaf of one at Nine-Ten and…it didn’t suck. HAPPY?!?!?

    PS-I love the whole meat-inside-meat phenomenon. Turducken, anyone?

  6. Ros says:

    I can’t believe its February already and I still haven’t had any sprouts this winter! I even had some new ideas I wanted to try out. Those sprouts look totally gorgeous-much nicer than the ones I’ve seen around here.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the chicken roulade recipe-it’s something I mean to make but never got round to trying. It’s another one where I’m secretly scared it won’t work to be honest!

    Btw, I made your gumbo (minus the file powder) the other day and it rocked!

  7. aria says:

    damn that looks amazing!! mmmmm. droool. that combo has to be delish. what a great idea to eat sprouts with polenta. i’m ashamed of my latest offerring in your wake… braaaavoh!!!

  8. Amanda says:

    bobby, you meant to say exactly that! mmmm big, round, juicy… sexy. voluptuous. oh brussels sprouts… how i love the!

    thanks erielle! and i’m glad to hear that it won’t be your last taco post! :-)

    OOOOO MICHELLE!!! I am happy! :-) very proud of you for eating a leaf after knowing how adamently disliked them! and with my own personal love for them!… i definately had the same feeling about grits though. they really aren’t particularly tasty or good if fixed poorly… but when done well… mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm!

    ros, there’s nothing to fear with the roulade! when i first started making them i was using toothpicks to hold them together, which work well but are a pain in the arse to remove! the butchers twine is definately the way to go. i can’t wait to see you bust out a roulade on your site!

    heheh nary be ashamed of nutella and marshmellow fluff my dear aria! that is definintely a great combinations! and i bet you didn’t have to work nearly as hard for your great combo as i did ;-P sometimes i wish i didn’t feel like what i made had to be the ultimate and i could just post ham sandwiches and grilled cheese all the time (both of which i happen to love!)

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