Necessity is the mother of invention! This was a bit of kitchen creativity on Sunday when I wanted a roast dinner but something a bit different.
This is a tasty recipe for a stuffed roast chicken breast. I served it with roast sweet potato, carrots, peas, chicken gravy and some bread sauce that was leftover in the freezer from Christmas. I’d forgotten how much I love bread sauce – it shouldn’t just be saved for Christmas! It was a Delia Smith recipe and was lovely, even after time in the freezer.
I knew I wanted to stuff my chicken breasts, but here was the problem. I thought I’d bought chicken breasts but I hadn’t. So here in Spain, it is quite common to buy the breasts sliced into three long flat pieces. It’s easy to mistake the thin slices for a whole chicken breast, and as the shops are closed on Sundays I couldn’t even go out for normal chicken breasts and use the slices another day. This basically meant that instead of stuffing the breasts as normal, I had to layer the stuffing between the slices, secure with cocktail sticks and bake in a little tower.
As it was, the tower stayed together quite well, the stuffing kept the chicken moist all of the way through and I was quite pleased with my improvisation! However, if you have regular chicken breasts, slice into the thickest part in the middle of the chicken breast to create a pocket, and stuff the stuffing in there.
Ingredients (serves 2)
– 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
– half a white onion, peeled and chopped
– 50g breadcrumbs
– 5 artichoke hearts from an antipasti jar, chopped
– 1 garlic clove, chopped
– 1 egg, beaten
– 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Melt a little oil or butter in a frying pan. I used butter. It was a Sunday, after all.
2. Fry the onion for 2-3 minutes on a medium heat until softened but not coloured.
3. Mix the onion with the artichoke, breadcrumbs, thyme, garlic and a little seasoning. Add the beaten egg a little at a time, stirring until the mixture comes together. I added all the egg in one go. Mistake. It was too runny then and I had to add more breadcrumbs to dry it out.
4. Make a large slit in the chicken breasts. Put half of the stuffing mix into the pocket this creates. Or if like me you have thin chicken strips, layer the stuff between each piece of chicken to create a tower!
5. Take a roasting dish and lightly grease the bottom. Place the chicken breasts in the dish. Lightly grease one side of a piece of baking paper and cover the chicken breasts (greased-side to the chicken). Tuck it in to keep the chicken moist.
6. Bake the chicken in the oven for 40 minutes. Make it is cooked all of the way through. You can roast sweet potatoes in the oven at the same temperature for the same amount of time. If you had too much stuffing, you can roll it into balls and cook it alongside the chicken breasts.
7. Serve with your favourite Sunday lunch vegetables and, if you’re like me, lashings and lashings of gravy.
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