On Monday I invited my friend C. for dinner. We went together to the supermarket to do grocery shopping, and since I wasn’t up for carbs (I had two massive sandwiches for lunch) I thought of cooking chicken breast with mashed potatoes (it’s a theme nowadays, ha!). With chicken meat being kinda blunt though, I came up with this idea to liven it up a little.
I still had a portion of frozen vegetables in the freezer, namely broccoli and cauliflower florets and carrot slices – pretty tasteless as well huh? – to use as the base for the stuffing, so I chose Stilton as the binding mean, since I thought that its tangy taste would work well with both meat and vegetables. I’ve done this pockets before, with a filling of porcini mushrooms and pancetta, but a vegetable stuffing also works pretty well.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
- 4 chicken breast halves (or 2 whole chicken breasts, cut in half)
- 150g vegetables of your choice
- 50g Stilton
- salt, pepper, mixed herbs to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
Pre heat the oven to 200°C fan. Clean the chicken breasts by removing the visible fat, and holding them flat with your hand, cut them from the side to create a pocket. Cover them with greaseproof paper (or cling film) and pat them with a rolling pin to flatten and soften the meat.
In the meantime, steam the vegetables for 10 minutes until tender, let them cool down and then chop them finely. Crumble the Stilton and mix it with the vegetables in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Line a baking tray with baking paper, place the chicken breast and scoop some filling in each of them. Close the pockets with toothpicks, season with the herbs, salt and pepper, and drizzle with some olive oil.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until the meat is cooked through, turning the pockets halfway to prevent them from burning, and occasionally splash the juices on top to keep them moist.
I also prepared a quick gravy:
- 1/2 small onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp chicken stock granules
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 50ml white wine
- 100ml boiling water
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
In a saucepan, fry the onions until golden in the oil, add the chicken stock and the white wine, then whisk in the flour. Simmer until reduced, then pour the boiling water. Simmer again until the gravy thickens up, adjust the amount of stock to taste, then season with the herbs. If the gravy is too funny, add some more flour, if it’s too thick, add a splash of water.
Cut the chicken in thick slices, arrange on the plate, pour the gravy over the whole dish and serve.