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Spiced Chicken Roulade

Chicken breasts, stuffed with spicy apricots and beans, make an ideal meal if just serving two or three people. Accompany with festive trimmings such as bacon kebabs and cranberry sauce.

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2 large chicken breasts
2.5 cm (1 in) piece fresh root ginger
90 g (3 oz) French beans
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
90g (3 oz) no-soak dried apricots
4 no-soak dried prunes
1 onion
1 garlic clove
60 g (2 oz) butter
45 g (1 oz) fresh breadcrumbs
60 g (2 oz) sausagemeat
1 tablespoon beaten egg
Salt and pepper
4 rashers of streaky bacon
150 ml ( pint) dry white wine
4 tablespoons double cream
Fresh coriander or parley, to garnish


Serves: 2


1 Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F/ Gas 4). Using a sharp knife, cut horizontally almost through each chicken breast. Open out, place between two sheets of damp greaseproof paper or cling film then beat with a rolling pin to flatten.

2 Peel and grate ginger. Cook beans in boiling water for 1 minute then drain. Lightly crush coriander and cumin seeds. Chop the apricots and prunes.

3 Finely chop onion and crush garlic. Melt 30 g (1 oz) of the butter in a saucepan. Add onion and garlic and fry for 3 minutes. Stir in ginger, crushed spices, breadcrumbs, sausagemeat, egg, salt and pepper. Beat the ingredients well together until thoroughly combined.

4 Lay a third of the stuffing down centre of one chicken breast. Cover with half the beans and another third of the stuffing. Cover with remaining beans and stuffing. Lay second chicken breast over stuffing and bring up sides to form a roll. Remove rind and any bones from bacon and lay over the chicken.

5 Tie the roll with string, at 2.5 cm (1 in) intervals. Lay the chicken in an ovenproof dish in which it fits snugly. Dot with the remaining 30 g (1 oz) butter and spoon over the white wine.

6 Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 30 minutes.

7 Leave to stand for 5 minutes then remove string and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Keep warm.

8 Pour the juices from the chicken into a saucepan and stir in cream, salt and pepper. Heat through gently.

9 Slice the roulade and garnish with coriander or parsley. Serve with the sauce.

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