Pamplona of Chicken (Montevidean-Style Stuffed, Rolled, Grilled Chicken Breast)

Pamplona of Chicken with Ember Roasted Peppers

Other Recipes from Episode 402: Rolled, Stuffed, and Grilled


Pamplona of Chicken (Montevidean-Style Stuffed, Rolled, Grilled Chicken Breast)

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Direct grilling


  • 4 large skin-on chicken breasts, filets removed
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 1/4-inch-thick slice smoked ham (about 1 1/2 to 2 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 12 pitted dried prunes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for basting

For serving:

  • Grilled bell pepper and onion salad (optional; see below)

You’ll also need:

  • Toothpicks

Recipe Steps

1: Using a sharp paring knife, cut a pocket into the side of a chicken breast. (Do not cut all the way through.) Open the pocket and season the inside with salt, pepper, and half the oregano. Stuff the pocket with a couple of strips each of bell pepper and ham, two egg quarters, and 3 prunes. Pin the pocket closed using 1 or 2 toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Brush each breast with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and the remaining oregano. The pamplonas can be assembled several hours ahead to this stage, covered and refrigerated.

2: Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to medium-high.  Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it with vegetable oil.

3: Grill the pamplonas, starting with the meat side down, until the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side, turning with tongs. Brush every few minutes with additional olive oil.

4: Transfer the pamplonas to a cutting board.  Remove the toothpicks. Traditionally, the pamplonas would be served whole on a plate.  But I like to cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch slices, fanning the slices out on plates or a platter to create a mosaic effect. 

5: For the salad, grill colorful bell peppers and onion quarters over a hot fire (this can be done at a previous grill session), turning with tongs, until they’re charred on all sides. Let them cool, then peel off any burnt skin. Stem and seed the peppers, then cut into strips. Slice the onion quarters lengthwise to make slivers. Place the vegetables in a mixing bowl, then dress with chopped parsley, toasted pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, a splash of sherry vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to mix. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.

Recipe Tips

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2022 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein