We eat a lot of chicken so I am always trying to think of new ways to prepare it. Recently I came up with these two chicken dishes; one using thighs and the other using breasts. They really don’t even need a recipe, but I will tell you how I put them together. I also love stuffing and rolling chicken!
The first was stuffed with some very interesting flat nectarines, also known as donut nectarines. I had never had these before. I believe these were grown in Spain. They are incredibly sweet with a firm, juicy texture and very delicate skin so no need to peel. Perfect for stuffing!
CHICKEN BREASTS STUFFED WITH
NECTARINES, SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE
|Here are some Donut Peaches, cousin to the Donut Nectarines.
I served these with a couple zucchini cakes. I used to make these cakes using flour instead of Panko. The Japanese breadcrumbs are much lighter and make a nicer, crispier cake. First the cakes…
To make the cakes:
Using a box grater, grate 1 large unpeeled zucchini to make 4 cakes. Over a colander, take one handful at a time of zucchini and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set aside in the colander.
In a separate bowl add: 1 large clove minced garlic, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 large, slightly beaten egg, 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs, herbs of your choice–I like to use fresh oregano, salt, and pepper, and finally add the zucchini and mix well. The mixture should be moist, but firm enough to hold its shape. If it is not, add a little more Panko. On a large plate or platter mound up 4 large circles of Panko. Drop the zucchini onto each and press slightly to form a round cake or patty. Top with more Panko and using your hands gently press the Panko on top and all sides of the zucchini cake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to fry.
To make the Stuffed Chicken Breasts:
|That martini has nothing to do with the recipe!
Using a mallet or rolling pin gently pound the chicken until it’s even and about 3/8 inch thick. Liberally salt and pepper both sides. If you can’t find Donut Nectarines, any nectarine will work or even the peaches, but if using peaches, I recommend peeling.
Spread softened goats cheese on each chicken breast. Top with a generous amount of spinach and finally the sliced nectarine. Gently roll up the chicken using your fingers to stuff the filling back in as you roll, as it will most likely slip out.
The chicken stayed together nicely so no need to tie it off. Top with olive oil, more salt and pepper and a sprig of rosemary. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes. I like my chicken very juicy and tender, not dry so err on the side of less cook time. Recommended internal temp should be around 165 F (74 C), but I generally pull them out at around 160. They do keep cooking a bit. The salty cheese is a perfect complement to the sweet nectarines. I think you will like this chicken dish!
CHICKEN THIGHS STUFFED WITH LEEKS, CHESTNUT MUSHROOMS, WRAPPED IN SMOKED, AGED
BLACK FOREST HAM
Bone the chicken thighs. This is much easier than it sounds if you have never done it. Open the thigh. Place a sharp paring knife just under the bone near the center of the thigh and carefully separate the flesh from the bone. Work the knife all the way down the bone and circle around the bumpy cartilage at the end. Repeat on the other side. The bone should come right out. Save the bones for soup stock!
HERE’S YOUR INGREDIENT LIST:
2 large chicken thighs
Chestnut or Portobello Mushrooms, enough to cover the inside of both thighs
Leeks, sliced, and lots!
Aged Black Forest Ham, 2 slices per thigh
Maille has been making mustards since the 1700’s. This beautiful French wholegrain mustard is my go-to. Their Dijon mustard is also lovely. But use whatever wholegrain you have in your pantry!
Lay the boned chicken skin side down. Liberally salt and pepper both sides. Spread a generous amount of mayonnaise on the inside of each thigh. Top with a generous amount of wholegrain mustard. Top that with the sliced leeks and sliced mushrooms. This is a little tricky because the mayo/mustard makes the filling quite slippery, but gently coax the thighs into a roll. Again, use your fingers to keep stuffing mushrooms and leeks back inside. Once you have rolled them, wrap 2 pieces per thigh of the Black Forest Ham, seam side down. That helps hold everything together. Drizzle with olive oil and then top with dried tarragon.
Bake in preheated 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Check the temp and when done, let rest for 10 minutes. The recommended temp on the thighs is 170, but I usually cook to 165.
HOPE YOU’VE ENJOYED THIS CHICKEN ADVENTURE!
IRISH CHICKENS ARE THE BEST!
THE GOVERNMENT IS VERY CAREFUL
ABOUT THE CARE AND PRODUCTION OF
COMMERCIALLY RAISED CHICKENS
AND IT’S OBVIOUS IN THE TASTE!
UNTIL NEXT TIME…
|This is our neighbors crazy horse who runs
wildly through the field next door.
It looks like he’s about to jump off the roof
of our shed!