Goat Cheese Balances The Flavors Of Cranberry Chicken Roulade With Rich Tanginess

There are few pairings that go together as well as the holidays and cranberries. While the tart-but-sweet fruit uses Thanksgiving as its number one time to shine, cranberry is a flavor that can be appreciated all throughout the winter season inside unique dishes and surprising pairings. On the other hand, walnuts have been a staple in winter-time cuisine for centuries, as they have rich traditions rooted in various countries around the globe. Together, walnuts and cranberries are an unstoppable, festive combination that balance the perfect amount of sweet with just a little bit of nutty and salty.

Ways to merge the two flavors are endless, but there's one base that can take the walnut/cranberry flavor palate to the next level. Interestingly, that base is goat cheese. "Walnuts and goat cheese are a classic pairing." Tasting Table recipe developer Tess Le Moing explains. She continues, "Walnuts have a rich, slightly bitter, and earthy flavor, while goat cheese is creamy, tangy, and slightly acidic." When cranberries are added to the mix, it creates "the holy trinity of flavor," according to Le Moing. A perfect dish to incorporate all three ingredients is with Le Moing's walnut-crusted cranberry chicken roulade recipe.

Taking goat cheese in cranberry chicken roulade to the next level

Because goat cheese is such a versatile ingredient, there are countless ways to make this recipe your own, namely through different seasonings you may want to add to the spread. In fact, many goat cheeses on the market come in various flavors, so playing around with options like garlic and herb, honey, or even jalapeño (if you're feeling daring) can all harmonize with the sweetness of the cranberry and the salty nuttiness of the walnuts.

As far as sides go, try to stay away from indulgent and creamy sides — like mashed potatoes — as the richness found in these can steal the limelight away from the goat cheese. To really make this a complete, well-rounded meal, opt for adding a spinach or arugula salad to the side. Not only is cranberry goat cheese salad with walnuts a classic, but because this recipe doesn't include any vegetables, greens are the perfect way to balance things out and achieve a full explosion of flavor.

Furthermore, what is a meaty, cheesy, roulade without a pairing of wine? But remember, a walnut-crusted cranberry chicken roulade already has a lot of notes at play — the sweetness from the cranberries and the acidity from the goat cheese are bold flavor profiles. So, something like Pinot Noir is ideal because it is delicate like the cheese, but also lacks acidity, which is what we're looking for in order to allow the goat cheese to shine.