Bacon and Arugula Stuffed Chicken Roulades

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

NotesThis may be made ahead and baked later. After refrigeration, bring the roulades to room temperature before baking. Depending on the size of the chicken breasts you may not need an entire breast slice per person so this is a recipe you can stretch if additional unexpected guests arrive. If you increase the recipe and brown quite a few breasts in the same oil, the bottom of the pan may blacken too much to make a sauce. Do not discard any of the bacon grease until you have completed the recipe in case you need to make your sauce starting with bacon grease due to the pan being unsuitable for sauce. In case the pan is too dark, wash it out. Use the reserved grease and start the sauce.

Arugula is a semi-bitter, aromatic salad herb with a peppery mustard flavor.



Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, peanut free, tree nut free

Equipmentbaking/gratin dish


Taste and Texturemeaty, savory, smoky, spiced


  • 3 slices pepper or hickory smoked bacon, cut in half
  • 6 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ¾ cup fresh arugula, watercress or baby spinach
  • ½ cup teriyaki sauce (Kikkoman brand works best)
  • Lemon pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooked wild rice blend or brown rice
  • Toothpicks
  • Meat mallet
  • Whisk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until golden but still pliable. Drain on paper towels, reserving about ¼ cup grease from the skillet.

  3. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken breasts and pound to an even thickness by beating with the flat side of the meat mallet. Arrange half of the bacon slices on each breast and top with 2 tablespoons of the arugula. Roll chicken up, tucking in the ends to close, and use a toothpick to secure. Place the rolled chicken in a large dish and pour the teriyaki over the chicken and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Marinate approximately 3 hours in the refrigerator or 30 minutes at room temperature, turning occasionally.

  4. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of oil (if needed) to the reserved bacon grease and heat over medium heat. Add the rolled breasts (roulades) to the oil and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the roulades to a 9 × 13-inch baking dish, reserving the grease in the skillet, and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until the juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.

  5. While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce by mixing the butter and flour together in a small bowl to make a paste; set aside. Add the shallots and garlic to the skillet with the reserved bacon grease and sauté on low heat until shallots are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine to the skillet and increase the heat to medium. The wine will boil, loosening the browned bits that contribute to the sauce’s flavor. Boil until the wine reduces by half. Add the stock and bring back to a boil. Boil 10 minutes until mixture reduces slightly. Add the cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and continue to whisk. Add the flour-butter paste to the sauce and whisk. Continue whisking until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon without dripping. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm until ready to serve.

  6. When roulades are cooked through, remove toothpicks and slice diagonally. To serve, make a timbale of rice (drum-shaped uniform mound) using a 1/3 cup solid measuring cup as a scoop. Scoop rice onto a plate, smash down slightly and serve chicken over the bed of rice. Drizzle the chicken with sauce, passing additional sauce separately.

  7. Variations:

  8. Stuff the inside of the chicken with anything! (Boursin Cheese, herbed or with black pepper, or any cheese, prosciutto, or other vegetables like watercress or spinach.)

  9. If you do not have teriyaki sauce, mix ¼ cup less sodium soy sauce with 2 tablespoons brown sugar.

  10. If desired, mushrooms may be sautéed with the shallots and garlic and the dish may be garnished with fresh, chopped chives.

  11. Since cream and sherry pair nicely, stir in ¼ cup dry sherry into the original version above and simmer 5 minutes before serving...delicious.


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