Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chicken Breast with Stilton and Apricots

Stilton cheese is one I became familiar with on my trips to England. My friend Sarah’s father loves the animated clay series Wallace and Gromit, so we watched a few episodes with him during my visit. The main character loves cheese, especially Wensleydale. As a food nerd I had to investigate all the cheeses he mentions in the series, both while I was in England and upon my return.

A memorable meal I had while visiting England was a chicken breast stuffed with stilton and apricots at Santa fe restaurant in Reading. I took a peek at their website and it looks as if they only have a location in Bluewater Kent now.

Since I had this dish almost 10 years ago, this isn’t an exact replication, but all the essential components are there. I have done a pan sauce with a locally made apricot wheat beer, but white wine would work well also. The plate is finished with roasted Brussels sprouts and creamy mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1/2 pound/.226 kilograms each)
4 ounces/113 grams white stilton with apricots
2 tablespoons nonfat, plain yogurt
6 slices of prosciutto
½ cup apricot wheat beer
4-6 toothpicks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Between two pieces of plastic wrap, flatten the chicken with a meat hammer or rolling pin. Mix together the stilton and yogurt. Spread half the mixture on each chicken breast. Roll the chicken breast tightly and then wrap each with 3 pieces of prosciutto. Secure with toothpicks. Add a little black pepper to the parcels.

In an ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium on the stove. Brown the chicken breast parcels on each side. Finish in the oven by cooking for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Deglaze the pan on the stove with the wheat beer and butter until it reduces slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the pan sauce over the chicken breast before serving.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 pound/435 grams Brussels sprouts
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the stems and any brown leaves from the sprouts. Cut the sprouts in half. Small ones can be left whole.

Place the sprouts on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Toss the sprouts in the olive oil. Crack over salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Use a spatula to turn the sprouts halfway through cooking. Serve immediately.

This recipe is slightly adapted (technique change and reduced oil and cooking time) from Ina Garten’s on the Food Network website.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes
1 ½ pounds red skinned potatoes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ cup table cream (15%)
½ teaspoon sea salt

Wash the potatoes and trim any gnarly bits but leave as much skin on as possible. Cube the potatoes, add them to a large pot, cover with cold water and put on the lid. Bring to a boil, remove the lid and cook for 10 minutes. Drain the water from the potatoes.

Cream the potatoes with the butter, cream and salt with a potato masher until they are as smooth as you prefer.

Serves 2 with extra sprouts and mash.

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  1. Yea!!!! She's talking again.

  2. It seems I have already broken my new year's resolution about oversharing...