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He is back in the kitchen!

My darling husband took a big interest a few years ago with cooking and baking.  He would watch the cooking shows on Food Network, find an interesting recipe and then go to our computer and print it off.  Currently we have two binders,a 3 inch binder with all sorts of foods and a 1 inch binder of dessert recipes he has taken off the Internet and tried, along with a cupboard full of cookbooks .  He will make comments on them such as “good for guests, or foodie friend worthy”.  Some of the recipes we go back to again and again and some we have had once, loved it, but haven’t found the opportunity to make it again.  But we will someday. 

This past Saturday when I was making the Apple Cake and the butternut squash, my Valley Boy was making a wonderful chicken recipe for dinner.  We have had this recipe for quite some time and it was even featured at a dinner club dinner hosted by our foodie friends (wine friends and best friends!) a couple of years ago.  It is something very simple, easy and elegant!

Rachael Ray’s Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Blue Cheese and Pecans

 Ingredients

4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
2 scallions, sliced on bias
4 slices good-quality center cut bacon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup half-and-half or cream
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
Special equipment: toothpicks

Directions

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Butterfly the chicken breast pieces by cutting across the breast but not all the way through. Open the breasts up and pound lightly between parchment paper. Peel paper away and season the meat with salt and pepper.
Cover the seasoned chicken cutlets with blue cheese crumbles, pecans and scallions in equal amounts. Roll the chicken, wrap each roll with bacon and secure with toothpicks. Season the outside of the rolls with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken evenly all over, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a small baking sheet, place in the oven and cook 10 minutes more.
Melt the butter in the same skillet pan the chicken was seared in over medium heat. Whisk in flour, cook 1 minute then whisk in stock. Let thicken a minute then whisk in the half-and-half and grain mustard, season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to warm.
Halve the chicken and stack to show off the center. Set chicken in gravy or pour over top. Serve with rice and greens, if desired.
Pictures do not do this justice!  Wonderful mix of flavors and the sauce is great on the rice! 

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