Leek and Date filled Chicken Roulade, with Pomegranate Glaze

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Chicken, chicken, chicken.  It’s hard to get away from it, and coming up with new recipes to keep it interesting ain’t so easy.  I mostly end up making the same, simple roast chicken for ease of time and thought.  However, while thinking about the upcoming holidays, I was hoping to come across something different.  Something that everyone would like. Something no one is allergic to!  And of course, a holiday-worthy recipe that was elegant, delicious and which included some of the “simanim” or “symbols” for the holiday.  So, I set about creating my own, and I came up with this chicken roulade.  It passed the testing stage with flying colors, and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did (and will again!) The filling is sweet, with a middle eastern flavor, and the pomegranate glaze gives the chicken a glorious color and tangy-ness.   Serve the chicken on a bed of baby arugula and decorate with pomegranate arils and cut figs.  It makes for a spectacular, yom-tov worthy dish!

Leek and Date filled Chicken Roulade, with Pomegranate Glaze

6-8 chicken cutlets

Pomegranate glaze (ingredients below)

Leek and date filling (ingredients below)

5 oz. baby arugula

1/2 Cup pomegranate arils

4 fresh figs, quartered (optional)

1/3 Cup chopped mint

Preheat oven to 400.

Prepare filling first:

3 Tablespoons olive oil

4 medium leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned well, halved and sliced into rings

1 Tablespoon ginger, minced (from a one-inch piece)

1 Tablespoon garlic, minced

2 Cups chopped dates (about 18 dates)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablepoon balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon pomegranate molasses

1/3 Cup chopped parsley

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In a large skillet, heat oil and add the leeks.  Saute about 4-5 minutes, until softened, then add the ginger and garlic, and saute another minute.

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Add the dates, and stir to combine, then sprinkle with the salt, cumin and coriander.

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Add the honey, venegar and molasses.  Continue to cook until the dates break apart, and the entire mixture becomes jam-like.

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Stir in the parsley, remove from heat, and set aside.

Prepare the Pomegranate Glaze:

1/2 Cup pomegranate molasses

1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon honey

Combine the glaze ingredients and bring to a boil in a small saucepan.  Boil for about a minute or two.  Set aside.

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Assemble the Chicken Roulade:

Butterfly open the chicken cutlets, and pound to even thickness.  Place 2-4 tablespoons of filling on chicken (depending on size of chicken) and spread evenly.  You want to have a thin layer of filling.

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Carefully roll up chicken, jelly-roll style, along the long edge and place seam-side down in a 9 x 13 dish.  Continue with the remaining cutlets.

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Divide the glaze, so you save some for serving. Brush the chicken with the glaze.  Place pan of chicken in the oven, and after 10 minutes, brush again with the glaze.  Bake for about 25 minutes total, and check if done, by slicing into one of the roulades.  You don’t want to overcook and dry out the chicken!  Depending on how thick your chicken is, you might need another few minutes.  After you remove the chicken from the oven, brush again with the glaze.  Allow the roulade to cool, or refrigerate overnight to facilitate easier slicing.

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To Serve:

Slice the chicken into half inch “coins”.  On a large platter, arrange a nice bed of arugula, and place the chicken pieces decoratively on top.  Sprinkle liberally with pomegranate arils, mint and decorate plate with fresh figs.  Drizzle with reserved glaze and serve at room temperature (or cold).  Enjoy!

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