Even a fast cycle ride home after work (22 minutes door-to-door) didn’t quite get rid of the stress & annoyance of a rather trying day. So I decided to take it out on dinner. Literally.
You see, I’d been mulling over thoughts on what to do with the 3 boneless chicken breasts I’d got out to defrost that morning. I suppose you could call the chosen outcome, ‘chicken olives’ (if you remember ‘beef olives’, you’ll know what I mean).
First, I picked a handful of herbs from my garden: lemon thyme, marjoram, parsley, young spring onions & a couple of leaves of sage. These I chopped finely & put in a bowl together with 250g cream cheese (you could use the ‘lite’ version if you wanted to feel virtuous), some grated parmesan, and an egg to bind it all together. Once that was thoroughly mixed I added 3 rashers of chopped bacon that I’d fried gently while dealing with the herbs, & mixed again. The combo smelled – & tasted! – delicious.
Next, the anti-stress part: after removing the fat from the chicken I sliced each breast into 2 schnitzels – and then beat them with my trusty wooden rolling pin until they were about 5mm thick and twice their original area. After which I was definitely feeling better 🙂 After putting a heaping table-spoon of the herb-&-cheese mix onto each schnitzel, I rolled the meat around the filling. My original intention had been to sear them in the pan I’d cooked the bacon in, with all those lovely drippings** and brown crunchy bits 🙂 But I could see that this would probably lead to my chicken rolls falling apart, or the filling oozing out, so I simply put each one into a casserole dish as I rolled them.
The final step was to pour some homemade pasta sauce, full of tomatoes & basil & garlic & red pepper, & seasoned with smoky paprika, over the top of the rolls & pop them in the oven at 180 degrees C. I basted them with the sauce a couple of times while they cooked, which took around 45 minutes. And we ate them with hedgehog potatoes & steamed brocolli.
Yes, Annette, I know you said to serve the sauce on the side 🙂 Maybe next time!
** Incidentally the drippings did not go to waste, for there was filling over. Enough filling to make a lovely toasted sandwich, using wholemeal bread (also very virtuous, 🙂 ) and fried in the drippings, as a starter to share between the 3 of us.