A great midweek meal and helps with writer’s block

There’s no doubt, that stuffed chicken roll, sounds better in Italian, Rotolo di Pollo.

  • SERVES: 4
  • PREP TIME: 15 mins
  • COOK TIME:  30mins

Stuffed chicken roll

But whether you call it stuffed rolled chicken or Rotolo di Pollo, it’s a great dish for a Sunday lunch or a midweek meal.

And chicken is good for the brain!

Which is what I needed this week.

Because I got a good dose of ‘writer’s block’.

Yes, I know, I’m a blogger, not a novelist or journalist.

But you can still hit a solid wall when it comes to writing.

Unless you want me to write out the cooking method in full like some blogs?

I’m afraid, I prefer to think you can understand the ingredients and method quite easily in its compact version.

So, instead, this post is here to help those others out there who may suffer from the odd writer’s block.

Whether they are a professional writer, as above).

Or perhaps one that has to write every day for business such as marketing, content development, blogging etc

We can all have those days of little inspiration.

What is writer’s block?

According to the NY Times, the term was first introduced in the 1940s by a psychiatrist named Edmund Bergler.

Bergler studied writers who suffered from ‘neurotic inhibitions of productivity,’ to find out why they couldn’t write.

I can relate to feelings of ‘neurotic inhibitions of productivity.

He interviewed loads of writers to try and understand what was preventing their creativity to flow.

Lucky (for us), he didn’t think it was just lack of talent, being lazy or simply bored.

Unluckily, he surmised a writer “unconsciously tries to solve his inner problems via the sublimatory medium of writing.”

And that a blocked writer is actually blocked psychologically.

And the way to “unblock” that writer is through therapy.

Blimey, I’m only trying to unblock my brain to write about rolled chicken.

I’m not sure I need to go much deeper than that, but hey, let’s keep going.

Because perhaps you have writer’s block and need therapy!

Symptoms of writer’s block

Fast forward to the 1970’s/80’s and two Yale University psychologists came up with a more definitive reason.

They found that blocked writers were unhappy.

Crikey, this is getting worse! I just need to find my food-writing mojo about rolled chicken.

Anyway, these writers had symptoms of:

  • Helplessness and “aversion to solitude”: a major problem, since writing usually requires time alone.
  • Apathy. They felt constrained by the “rules” of writing and struggled to find their creative spark.
  • Anger. These writers were often narcissistic and would get angry if something they created went unnoticed.
  • Depression & anxiety. They weren’t good enough, lack of pride.
  • Issues with others. They didn’t want their writing to be compared to others’ so in fear of that, stopped writing anything at all.

Ahhh… I think we’ve gone too deep here.

Perhaps let’s stick with this explanation…

Writer’s block is an overwhelming feeling of being stuck in the writing process…

You can’t move forward and write anything new.

I think that pretty much sums it up for me.

(although perhaps those around me might say I’m an anxious narcissist??!)

So, how do you get out of this slump?

Stuffed chicken roll

How to get out of the writer’s block slump

Here are some ways from Masterclass, to help loosen the brain and get creative again:

  • Take a break. 
    • Come back with fresh eyes.
  • Jump ahead. 
    • Write smaller pieces of the article, story, or writing project without knowing where they fit.
    • Avoid areas of high difficulty.
    • Just write.
  • Pretend you’ve never read your work before. 
    • Start at the beginning and read it through. This can make it obvious where you’ve gone off track.
  • Do something else. 
    • Get away from your desk – go for a walk, grab a coffee, do the washing
    • This can often spark new ideas.
  • Create a deadline for yourself. 
    • Time pressure can create focus and can force you to make decisions that you may be avoiding.
  • Freewrite
    • Write without pausing to worry about sentence structure, grammar, and spelling.
    • You will have to go back and edit but it’s a good way to push through the block.
  • Eat stuffed rolled chicken
    • Chicken is great for the brain!

Why stuffed rolled chicken helps writer’s block

Ok, I need to put my hands up here.

This past of the post might not be scientifically proven in terms of stuff rolled chicken helping writer’s block.

However, chicken definitely has been proven to be a great source of lean protein.

And offers a balance of brain-healthy compounds, choline and vitamins B6 and B12.

Choline and the B vitamins play important roles in healthy cognition and provide neuroprotective benefits.

Choline is an essential building block in acetylcholine, a brain chemical that helps memory.

And, I would throw in here, writer’s block.

Because perhaps , I’m correct.

As this is a real-life example of how chicken does, in fact, help with unblocking those creative juices.

Or, perhaps, it was just nice to take a break from a blank page.

And cook a delicious meal for the family.

So, whether you need to get creative.

Or you’re just looking for a tasty meal.

Or both.

Then this is this dish for you. Enjoy.

And if you’d like to understand what is the best chicken to buy – free-range, organic, cornfed, then click here.



Recipe: Tortellini at Midnight cookbook

Stuffed chicken roll

Cuisine Italian
Keyword chicken, roast chicken, rolled chicken, Rotolo di Pollo, stuffed chicken, sunday lunch
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost £


  • 500 g whole chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp parmesan
  • a handful of fresh parsley (flat parsley if poss), chopped
  • 80 ml olive oil
  • 1 – 2 pork and fennel sausages (if you can't find pork and fennel, just add some crushed fennel seeds to the dish)
  • 70 g ham, thinly sliced
  • 70 g provolone or fontina cheese, thinly sliced
  • 125 ml white wine


Chicken breasts

  • Turn the breasts over so the smooth side is facing down and slice from the middle to the edge, horizontally (but don't slice through the edge). Repeat to the other edge.
    *You're basically making it look like a book so you can have one large piece of chicken breast.
    If parts are thicker in places, use a mallet to gently even them out.
    Set aside the chicken for now.


  • In a bowl, beat the eggs, parmesan and parsley.
    In a frying pan, add a little olive oil and fry a thin omelette with the mixture, until the top is set and the bottom a little brown. Set aside.

Making the chicken roll

  • Remove the sausage casings and spread the sausage meat all over the chicken breasts. Then layer the omelette over the top (trim if needed) and place slices of ham and cheese last.
    Now, roll the chicken up tightly and tie it with kitchen string along the roll to secure it tightly.
    Lastly, season with some salt and pepper by rubbing it over the roll.

Cooking the chicken roll

  • In a casserole pot, heat some olive oil over medium-high, and brown the chicken evenly (approx 2 – 3 mins each side).
    Pour over the wine and cook for another 2 mins, simmering vigorously.
    Next, add enough water to come halfway up the chicken and bring it back to a simmer, then turn the heat down, cover and cook for 15mins.
    After 15 mins, remove the lid, turn the chicken over and cook for another 15 mins.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and rest for approx. 10 – 15 mins.
    While you wait, turn the heat back up on the pot (keep the lid off) to reduce the sauce.
    Serve the chicken by cutting it into 2 cm thick slices.
    Enjoy with potatoes, greens or a salad.