On Saturday night I wanted to use up a few things in my fridge and began perusing a few of my favourite blog sites to find a recipe that inspired me and was something new. I stumbled across this one from my all time favourite (and always reliable) Annie. There was another chicken recipe that I was almost about to make a start on until I found this one – which included leeks, mushrooms & parsley – all of which I really needed to use.
It was a little more time consuming than I’m used to when starting a meal at 5.45pm and we didn’t eat until 7pm but to be fair, I did have my little man wanting to sit on the (already messy) bench and insist on touching everything within reach over and over and over, so that slowed me down somewhat!
The flavour of the finished result was amazing and definitely enjoyed by the entire family. I would proudly serve this meal to guests also. Pairing it with rice was something Annie did and although I’m not sure rice as an accompaniment is very french, it worked. My little man had seconds.
We were left with one spare roll and I have been enjoying this sliced thinly on sandwiches for the past two days. mmmmm
Please do not be put off by the length of this meal and the different stages required, it truly is worth the extra time and effort. And the sauce… wow!
French-Style Stuffed Chicken Breasts
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
handful of button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 leek, white part halved lengthwise and chopped (about 1 cup)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
½ t minced fresh thyme leaves (I got away with using dried)
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
½ cup dry white wine
1 T chopped fresh parsley, divided
¾ t salt
½ t pepper
1 cup chicken stock
1 t Dijon mustard
2 t unsalted butter
If your chicken breasts have the tenderloin attached, remove the tenderloins and set aside. Using a sharp knife, butterfly each chicken breast horizontally, almost all the way through but not quite, leaving the two halves attached like the pages of a book. Open up the butterflied breasts and lay them out flat. Place each piece of chicken, laid out flat, in a large zipper-lock bag. Pound the chicken pieces to 2.5cm thickness. Trim about 2cm from the long side of the cutlets and put aside with the tenderloins. (Use the reserved tenderloins in place of or in addition to the trimmings to equal about ½ cup total reserved chicken pieces.) Process the trimmings in a food processor until smooth, about 20 seconds. Transfer the puree to a medium bowl. Do not wash out the bowl of the food processor.
To make the stuffing, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium sized fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until all moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms are golden brown, about 8-11 minutes. Add an additional tablespoon of oil as well as the leek; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 2-4 minutes. Mix in the garlic and thyme and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1½ teaspoons of the lemon juice and cook until the moisture has evaporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of the food processor. Return the pan to the heat; add the wine and scrape the pan to loosen browned bits. Transfer the wine mixture to a small bowl and set aside. Turn off the heat on the pan.
Pulse the mushroom mixture in the food processor until roughly chopped, about five 1-second pulses. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl with the pureed chicken. Mix in half of the parsley, and the salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to fold together the stuffing ingredients until well combined.
With the chicken breasts laid out flat, spread a quarter of the filling mixture over each of the breasts, leaving a clear edge around the perimeter. Roll up each breast as tightly as possible without squeezing out the filling and place seam-side down. Tie evenly with 3 pieces of twine around each chicken breast.
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a Le Creuset casserole dish (or something with a lid) over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken bundles and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Add the broth and reserved wine mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15-18 minutes. Transfer to a plate or cutting board and tent loosely with foil.
While the chicken is resting, whisk the mustard into the cooking liquid. Bring the heat to a high simmer, scraping the pan bottom to loosen browned bits. Simmer until reduced to ½ cup, about 7-10 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the butter, remaining parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pieces of twine, slice the chicken pieces on a slight diagonal, and serve with sauce spooned over the top.
I served with sauteed zucchinis & carrots & rice.
Source: Annies-Eats, from Cook’s Illustrated