Chicken Roll-Ups Give New Meaning To Stuffed Poultry

If you're up on your TikTok food trends, you may have seen videos of people making something called chicken roll-ups, and perhaps they'll even claim that this is a new dish the likes of which you've never seen before. Pretty unlikely, since TikTok alone contains numerous such videos, and a quick Google search shows countless more. Nevertheless, if you haven't tried rolling up and stuffing your boneless chicken parts, it's a fairly easy way to broaden your chicken-cooking repertoire.

The basic chicken roll-up recipe involves flattening your chicken (breasts typically tend to be used here as they're larger, although you could try taking the dish with boneless thighs if you're determined to do so), then rolling each piece up around a filling made from meat, cheese, spinach, mushrooms, or whatever else you want to stuff in there. (PBJ chicken, anyone?) In fact, you could even use stuffing mix to mimic a roast chicken without having to go through the bother of baking a whole bird.

The roll-ups are then dipped in a crumb coating and baked or pan-fried until the chicken is cooked and the filling is hot. If you're baking the stuffed chicken, you could also top it with some type of sauce, while pan-fried stuffed chicken can be wrapped in bacon for extra flavor.

2 classic chicken roll-ups date back to the mid-20th century

One rolled-up chicken dish that you've likely seen on restaurant menus and in grocery freezer cases predates the TikTok era by quite a few decades: chicken cordon bleu. It dates back to the 1940s and was said to have been the invention of a Swiss chef at an Alpine eatery who stretched out chicken schnitzels by stuffing them with ham and cheese (Swiss cheese, of course). "Le Cordon Bleu" is the French phrase for blue ribbon, and allegedly refers to the fact that the dish was dubbed a real winner by those who first tried it. The fact that numerous recipes and variations survive to this day is a testament to its enduring success.

Yet another chicken roll-up recipe of long standing has a somewhat misleading name: while chicken Kiev may be many things (not the least of which is delicious), it does not appear to be Ukrainian in origin but is instead similar to the type of French cooking popular with wealthy Russians in the 19th century. The dish as we now know it, though — chicken cutlets wrapped around herby compound butter — seems to have first been featured at New York's Russian restaurants by the mid-1940s so it's approximately the same age as chicken cordon bleu. Both of them may be well into their eighth decade, but they're every bit as in vogue as the latest TikTok creations.