Keto Italian Chicken Breast Roulade. 3 ingredients. 1.7g net carbs. Succulent, moist and bursting with flavour.
I tend to shun away from breast meat of any kind. Too dry and uninspiring. Especially if pan-fried, which is the norm for fillets. But browsing my old Italian cookery books always inspires me to experiment.
So, when I came across a very inviting roulade made with pigeon breast, I decided to give it a try. Chicken breast fillets are easier to source than pigeon breast, so I have simply swapped the type of meat used in the original recipe. With outstanding results.
How to Make Keto Italian Chicken Breast Roulade
Fancy-looking dinners don’t need to be complicated or require tons of ingredients. And these delicious chicken roulades are testament to that.
The 3 ingredients you need are chicken breast fillets, pesto and cured raw ham (prosciutto crudo).
Pesto sauce is cheap and easy to find in any grocery shop. However, whichever brand you buy will contain just a small percentage of pine nuts because they’re expensive (unless they come from China). So, to keep it low-cost yet give it the flavour and creaminess it needs, manufacturers add inferior ingredients and additives. What many people don’t realise is that pesto sauce is very simple to make at home, in minutes. If you wish, head over to my Italian Genoese Pesto recipe (for DAIRY-FREE omit the Parmigiano or use a vegan alternative) and taste how superior it is compared to any brand you may be familiar with.
Butterfly the fillets as in the video below. Then pound them lightly so they’re as flat and as evenly thick as possible.
Lay out overlapping slices of prosciutto crudo and place the chicken on top – allowing a bit of extra width of prosciutto. Then smother a generous layer of pesto, and wrap as you tuck the sides of prosciutto in (you don’t want too much pesto to escape while roasting).
Easy, right? Once you’ve brushed both roulades with a little extra virgin olive oil and a few rosemary sprigs, they’re ready for roasting.
Ham. Prosciutto. Crudo. Cotto. What’s the Difference?
Outside Italy, raw ham is generally called prosciutto, but it’s a misnomer. The real term is prosciutto crudo, which translates to raw ham.
I guess ‘raw’ isn’t a particularly shopper-friendly term, and that’s why it’s often dropped (or kept in Italian language). Unless you’re in Italy, of course, where charcuterie counters in every shop offer many varieties of clearly distinguished prosciutto crudo (cured raw ham) and prosciutto cotto (cooked ham).
The best known raw ham is Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham), but I don’t recommend it for this dish, as it’s usually too dry. A much better option is Prosciutto di San Daniele or a generic prosciutto crudo, like the one I buy in Morrisons (U.K.). These tend to be more moist, so they will crisp up in the oven heat, but not become rock-hard.
This super easy recipe truly transforms breast meat. And the best part? Unlike pan-fried chicken breast fillets, this dish will stay moist when coated with the roasting juices and re-heated. In fact, I think it tastes even better once refrigerated and re-heated the next day.
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Keto Italian Chicken Breast Roulade
- butterfly fillets by slicing across horizontally almost to the opposite end (see video in post above); open them up, place them between two sheets of cling film and pound them lightly with a meat mallet to flatten them as evenly as you possibly can.
- pre-heat oven to 190°C static.
- lay 4 overlapping slices of prosciutto over a sheet of cling film, place one butterflied fillet on top and coat with 60g pesto; roll tightly, using the cling film to help lift and shape the roll and tucking the sides in as you roll.
- do the same for the other fillet.
- lightly brush the rolls with extra virgin olive oil, and place them (seal down) in a foil-lined, square (24cm/9.5") roasting pan with rosemary sprigs on top.
- roast for 25 minutes or as long as needed for the internal temperature to reach 75°C (I use a probe thermometer).
- serve immediately, drizzled with the roasting juices.
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