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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ruladă de pui cu spanac (My mom's chicken and spinach roulade) (Romanian)

Today we're having a special feature, one of my mom's specialties. My mom is not the traditional housewife type, she'd always rather read a book than cook or do some other house-related chores (a quality which I luckily inherited). She graduated Letters with an British literature specialty (and a minor in French) and has been my source of inspiration, culture and quality criticism for all I can remember. Not that we're neglecting my dad :)
Returning to the food, when she does cook (because we all have to eat eventually) she does it surprisingly well for someone who doesn't make this their life pursuit (another trait which apparently I did inherit). Her dishes, even the traditional Romanian ones, were also imbued with lots of creativity and refined French touches. This is one of such creations. Enjoy. :)

Ingredients (serves 2):
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1,5 kg fresh spinach
  • 100 g butter
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 whole garlic head
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 200 ml white wine (dry)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

Clean the spinach, reserving only the leaves:

Boil them in salted water for 1 minute. Then put them in a colander to drain. Heat a slice of the butter in a frying pan:

Chop the onion into little pieces and put them in the melted butter:

Also peel and mince the garlic:

Add the garlic bits to the onion and fry some more until they're really soft:

Also add the spinach:

Mix and keep on the fire for one more minute. Add the cream, season with salt, and keep one more minute.

 Then, put the pan away for the composition to cool. Get the chicken breast and cut them to get them as thin as you can:

Cover with plastic wrap, then beat with a cooking hammer until the pieces get even thinner:

Like this:

Use some of the remaining butter for greasing a large casserole-tray and place the chicken in it:

Place the spinach composition onto the meat:

Wrap it up, tie it up and slice the rest of the butter on top of it:

Place in the oven and let it cook for 1 hour. After each 15 minutes open the oven and drizzle the butter sauce form the bottom on top of the meat. After 45 minutes (when there's only 15 minutes left), pour the wine in the tray.
When it's done take it out, untie its bindings (it will hold by itself now) and drizzle with soy sauce:

Cut it into slices and serve. In the main picture it is being served next to slices of pickled tomatoes and apples but use whatever you have and like. Dig in! :)

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