Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

April 15, 2010

Poulet Maison

This was La Colombe d’Or’s most popular dish when Rick Steffan was chef. The chicken breast are rolled into roulades and filled with pesto, which gives the gentle chicken an unexpected punch and a lovely appearance. The beauty is that the dish must be prepared ahead of time and then takes only 8 to 10 minutes to finish.


Chicken Roulade
Wine: Louis Jadot: Moulin a Vent, 2007
Dessert: Biscotti


1 Chicken breast, boned, skinned, and cut in half
1 Tablespoon basil pesto
1 Egg yolk
Flour to dust
½ Cup breadcrumbs, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sprigs of parsley

I always ask the butcher to pound the chicken breast super flat, so that they cook evenly.
During the summer, when we had our house in Sag Habor, I used to prepare batches of pesto. Now I buy ready made pesto from Agata & Valentina. The pesto tastes good, but contains too much oil, which I drain through cheesecloth. It's important to cover one side with a thin layer of pesto, so that it doesn’t ooze out, then to tuck in the edges, and roll it tight.

Dust the roulade lightly with flour, dip it into the egg wash and roll in the breadcrumbs. Wrap the roulades in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.

When ready to cook, remove the plastic wrap, sauté the breasts in a skillet to sear, and bake in a preheated 375 degrees oven for 8 to 10 minutes. This part is tricky: if baked 1 minute too long, the chicken will be too dry. So, check it. When done, remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

To serve, slice each roulade into ½ slices on the diagonal, arrange it on a plate, and surround it with sprigs of parsley.

I am not a friend of Beaujolais because I don’t like Gamay grapes. Occasionally, however, Beaujolais is just the right wine for a certain dish. Louis Jadot’s. Moulin a Vent is a mature, sophisticated wine that pairs beautifully with the chicken roulade. I serve it slightly chilled.

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