1 fresh 3 1/2 lb whole chicken (preferably organic), breasts de-boned and thighs saved for another use, or 2 fresh chicken breasts
1 large bunch Swiss chard
1 tablespoon allspice (I prefer whole allspice berries ground in a spice grinder)
2 tablespoons fresh ground black peppercorns
5 tablespoons sea or Kosher salt
1 roll plastic wrap
Fill a stock pot with water and 3 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, plunge the 4 or 5 best and largest Swiss chard leaves into the water for a minute, until they wilt, and then carefully remove them to a bowl with iced water to soak for several minutes. Remove them and spread them out on paper towels, blotting with more paper towels to absorb as much water as possible.
Chicken roulades, wrapped in Swiss chard
Pull off a piece of plastic wrap 18 inches long and place it on a work surface. Take a Swiss chard leaf, trim it to the length of the chicken breast, and set it in the middle of the plastic wrap. Place a chicken breast lengthwise on the leaf. Take a generous pinch of allspice, pepper, and salt and rub them on the chicken breast. Starting at the edge of the leaf farthest away from you, start folding it over the breast and gather the plastic wrap under it, folding it over both the leaf and the breast, and roll them as you would a burrito or spring roll. Once you have the contents rolled, pinch both ends of the plastic wrap between your thumb and forefinger, and use your other three fingers to roll the “package” as tight as you can. This will compress the roulade. Finally, gather the ends of the plastic wrap and tie them over the roulade making what looks like a log. Repeat for the other chicken breast.
In large sauce pan, bring water to a simmer and add the plastic wrapped roulades. Poach them for 8-10 minutes. Remove them from the poaching liquid, carefully unwrap from the plastic wrap, and slice them into 3/4 inch medallions with a sharp knife.
Serve with a sauce of your liking over rice, pasta, or with a vegetable of your choice, or as an appetizer. These roulades are extremely versatile and can be prepared ahead.