Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Old Man's Supreme Chicken (aka chicken breasts stuffed with mushrooms en croute)

I have to clarify that this dish isn't from my "old man". Although my dad (aka pop) was a good cook, this recipe is from Jamie Oliver's Happy Day's cookbook and is referring to his "old man". Nonetheless the premise that this is a supreme chicken dish is not affected by this nuance.

The way this dish came about amuses me - it's a bit of a long-winded story, so I'll say that up front so you can indulge me.

We woke up this morning to frigid below normal (-33C) temperatures - did I mention below  normal?
So the objective for this evening's meal was to use the cooktop, oven or whatever cookery appliance it took to offer some extra heat to warm our chilled bones. 

I wasn't prepared. Although I love cooking, I get really uptight when I don’t have a gameplan - although I may have endless options at my fingertips, I enter a state of indecisiveness when just thrown to the wind.

Our first plan was a casserole of the pasta and ground meat sort. Only issue arising was the lack of ground meat (damn you inaccurate deep freeze log). So then what. Another log to the rescue. With the endless number of cookbooks I have, I've started this log of "want to try" recipes. I flipped there and found a Jaime Oliver recipe from his Happy Days cookbook  My Old Man's Supreme Chicken (aka Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Mushrooms En Croute). The first test - I had all ingredients on hand. The second test was to show the image to my husband to ensure he was interested to have said same dish (my concern here being he tends to prefer a healthier meal than me and this one involved puff pastry). He was onboard (thank goodness for numbing cold). So let the games begin.  

I used four boneless skinless chicken breasts. I had to defrost them as they were frozen (no, not because of the days events, but by design). I pounded them with a mallet to even thickness in a plastic bag (no fuss no muss). 

Whiles the chicks defrosted I had sautéed the mushrooms (a blend of dehydrated mixed mushrooms now rehydrated and fresh crimini mushrooms) with garlic. 

For preparation I placed about 1/2 cup of the mushroom mix into each chicken breasts, then wrapped in strips of puff pastry.

Baked in a 400F oven (notice the switch from Celsius - I must be Canadian). The topper was a simple whole grain mustard/white wine/cream sauce (how could you possibly go wrong with this combo). 

To serve I broke the mixed colour on the plate rule. I served with roasted cauliflower (yum yum) and a basic arugula salad with fig infused vinaigrette (double yum). 

This was a weeknight dinner. A little bit of work, but nothing crazy. Incredible tasting. Impressive presentation. Do try!

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