Bacon and mushroom stuffed chicken breasts and saffron potatoes

Bacon and mushroom stuffed chicken breasts

I had chicken kiev when I last went to Mma Africa Restaurant sometime back and I’ve been trying to find a recipe to recreate what I ate there but all the recipes I find are just not the same because unlike Mma Africa they don’t stuff them with feta cheese and spinach. So I decided to make my own version. It isn’t exactly the same but I like it nonetheless! Rather than using vegetables I opted for mushrooms and bacon and a homemade sauce.

Ingredients

  • Chicken breasts (deboned) or chicken fillet (usually come as a pack of 3/4)
  • 3/4 strips of streaky bacon
  • 70/80g mushrooms (half the 125g package)
  • dried sweet basil
  • just over a tablespoon of chopped parsley
  • spices of your choice : e.g. paprika, portuguese chicken, chicken spice, lemon pepper, garlic salt, etc.
  • 2 tablespoons of plain yoghurt or yoghurt and herb dressing or mustard per chicken breast
  • 2 teaspoons of Horseradish sauce (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 2 toothpicks per chicken breast
  • a few drops of lemon juice
  • a little butter

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
  2. Cut the chicken breast down the center so that it “opens” like a book-so you don’t cut all the way through it. Don’t worry if it is messy.
  3. Season both sides with spices of your choice and sweet basil.
  4. Cut up the bacon into little squares and the mushrooms.
  5. Fry the bacon with a little butter and when its ready, add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms are soft and shrunken remove from the heat.
  6. Make a sauce with the yoghurt/yoghurt dressing/mustard, horseradish, garlic, lemon juice and parsley. You can be as creative as you want with this sauce but the base must be yoghurt or mustard.
  7. Spread about two tablespoons of the sauce on the chicken (adjust according to the size of the breast). Don’t put too much sauce or it will leak out of the chicken during the baking.
  8. Spread a little of the bacon and mushroom mix on top of the sauce and take the other half of the bacon and fold over the mushrooms. Use the toothpicks to hold the chicken breast closed. Don’t worry if some of the stuffing falls out.
  9. Grease a baking tray or any oven safe dish with a little butter and place the stuffed chicken on it. Restuff any stuffing that falls out.
  10. Bake uncovered for about 25-35mins. Check half way through the time to turn the chicken.If you have extra sauce left over, use it to baste the top of the chicken. If the chicken is not ready by the time 35mins is up, keep adding an extra 5-10mins and tasting constantly. You want your chicken moist and the slightest bit of extra time can cause it to dry out.

    Ready!
  11. Remove from the oven when ready and serve.

Saffron potatoes

I bought some saffron recently at an Indian Spice shop in Broadhurst (called Reliable for those interested) and it cost me about 39 pula for a small bag. It’s quite a pricey spice! However a little of it goes a long way. Most recipes only call for a pinch at a time. Although I had intended to use it for paella, I decided to try using it with potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 and a 1/4 cup of boiled hot water
  • a pinch of saffron threads
  • oil for frying
  • some pepper for seasoning
  • a quarter of a red, green and yellow pepper, chopped.

Method

  1. Put the saffron threads into the hot water and let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients
  2. Peel the potatoes and wash. Cut into thick slices.
  3. Place the potatoes into a pot and add saffron infused water. Leave on medium heat covered and let the potatoes boil and steam (the water won’t cover all the potatoes). Check them every 10-15 minutes to ensure they are not sticking to the base of the pot and turn every now and then. 
  4. When the potatoes are soft but firm remove from heat and drain the water.
  5. Heat up a pan of oil and fry the potatoes a few at a time, turning to brown both sides of the potatoes.
  6. When removed from the heat, put onto kitchen paper or newspaper to drain off the oil.
  7. When all potatoes are done, lightly fry the chopped peppers. Drain, and mix with the potatoes.
  8. When ready to serve, season with ground pepper.

Adding the peppers is optional, I love adding them for the colour. Frying the potatoes is also optional, you can just have them boiled if you prefer. I like personally like to fry mine.

I found that the saffron did it’s job, all the potatoes were a bright yellow and had a distinct flavour to them. Saffron is a light fragrant spice that has a mild bitter sweet taste. If you can’t find saffron, tumeric has the same effect of colouring the potatoes yellow but will have a very strong spicy flavour.

I added a red cabbage salad made with tomatoes, grated carrots and Caesar salad dressing, yummy!

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