Friday, 6 February 2015

Spinach and Rice Chicken Roulade

In my previous posts I have quite effusively expressed my love for spinach. As far as my conscious life is concerned, or let’s say for as long as I remember I have loved spinach. But the other day my mother told me it was not always this way.   If she is to be believed, and I find it hard to believe, as a child I hated spinach. I would cry and throw tantrums if there was spinach on my lunch plate. At my adamant best I would arch backwards, at the risk of permanently damaging my spinal cord and produce strange guttural sounds. Spinach, and juice of Mousambi (sweet lime) – I hated the two. The latter I hate still. My mother had to resort to numerous tricks of persuasion to feed me some spinach or get a glass of Mousambi juice down my gullet.  And at times when all methods of persuasion failed she had to resort to fear-inducing tactics. And one thing the tiny-tot-me was very, very scared of is spider. So, Aloka, my nanny of sorts at the time would catch tiny spiders, and sometimes large ones too, she was fearless, in a glass jar and bring it to the dining table. I d wail for a while at the sight of those eight legged creatures I still abhor and finally proceed to eat my spinach or drink that glass of citrus juice. I wonder how those horrendous afternoons didn't scar me for life. My mother says my wails did, however, scar the poor spiders for life. 

Talking of spiders, err spinach, I do not know when or how, but some where down the line my hatred for spinach turned into pure love. And come winter when the loveliest spinach come up in the market, I go on a bender. At home, since childhood, spinach has always been prepared as a pure vegetarian dish, sans onion and garlic. On fact the best way to have spinach for me is stir fried, tempered with mustard seeds, and finished with a sprinkle of poppy seeds. But over the years I have cooked fancier stuff with spinach and one dish I have turned out quite a few times is chicken breast stuffed with spinach and feta. However, this time around I made the dish a little differently. Instead of chicken breast I used minced chicken to make a roulade and stuffed it with a creamy and cheesy rice and spinach stuffing. It is quite like a meat loaf stuffed with rice, spinach and cheese and it is delicious.The chicken wrap is spicy and juicy and inside the cheese and cream laden spinach rice is equally delightful. Try it ! 


For the chicken layer 
Minced Chicken - 600 g
Finely chopped garlic - 1 tbsp
Coarsely ground pepper - 1 tbsp
Eggs - 3
Cornflour/starch - 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Paprika - 1 tsp
For the spinach and rice filling
Spinach, cleaned and chopped - 250 g
Long grain rice - 75 g
Minced garlic - 1 tbsp
A pinch of nutmeg powder
Fresh cream - 1/2 cup
Grated Parmesan - 1/4 cup
Grated mozzarella - 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Butter - 50 g


In a food processor toss in the minced chicken, eggs, cornflour, salt, pepper, paprika and chopped garlic and pulse to a smooth mixture.

In a pan heat butter. Add garlic and fry until it begins to catch a golden tinge. Add a pinch of nutmeg powder followed by the spinach. Fry for a couple of minutes and then add the rice. Fry until rice is translucent.

Add the chicken stock, bring to boil, reduce heat and cook covered until rice is al dente, that is cooked but has a distinct bite to it.

The rice is most likely to soak up all the liquids by now. Remove cover and add the cream followed by the cheeses. adjust seasoning. Since the chicken stock will have salt in it, it is best to add salt, if necessary at this stage.

Remove from heat and keep aside.

Place two sheets of foil one on top of the other. Grease the open surface with butter. Leaving a margin of about 2 inches on all sides, spread the minced chicken mix in a uniform square.

Now tip the rice onto the chicken layer, along the middle of the square, length wise. Now hold the edges of the foil on one side, lift and place it on the rice so as to cover half of it, slowly and carefully peel the foil away. Repeat with the other side, thus creating a log. Seal the edges with your fingers. Once the log is ready, wrap the foil about so as to form a parcel.

Grill in a preheated oven at 170 degree centigrade for 20 -25 minutes. Once done let the log rest for about 10 minutes, before you cut in slices and serve. You could top it with some dry roasted sesame seeds for that smoky nutty bite. I did.

1 comment:

  1. Very innovative dish. Liked the texture4 and the presentation a lot. Love to get a bite from the screen. Thank u for the recipe and the process. Keep posting with lots more.