Saturday, August 27, 2011

Food for a Hurricane

Hurricane Irene passed yesterday, bringing periodic rain, which was nice. Others will get it worse as it goes north. Cooking was needed and frozen chicken breasts were awaiting their fate, so the base was decided upon. Now, what to do to them? We had a tub of Ricotta Cheese in the fridge that we hadn't opened, and spinach, so I decided to stuff the breasts and serve them on rice.

1 lb ricotta cheese1/2 lb spinach leaves, lightly chopped
3 tsp chopped garlic1/2 onion, chopped
4 frozen chicken breasts (thick ones)1 pack of Wasa crispbread
2-4 bell peppers (depending on your taste), chopped1 bottle dryish white wine
1 lb pack of baconcocktail sticks
2 tsp dried thyme1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Start thawing the chicken, but intercept the process before it's completely finished, so that you can hold the breasts on edge without them flopping all over the place. Cut through the breasts parallel to the flat sides in order to "butterfly" them, so they will fold back like the cover of a book.
  2. Put some olive oil in a casserole (mine is from IKEA) large enough to take all four breasts and put on to medium heat. Add the garlic and about 1/4 of the onion and fry gently until the onion is soft.
  3. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the spinach, cover, and start stirring. Keep doing this until the leaves all turn dark green, are liberally covered with the garlic pieces, and are well wilted. Take it all out and let it cool off.
  4. In a bowl, mix the Ricotta, Parmesan, Thyme, and some salt and pepper (use a fork and be rough about it!!!)
  5. Add the cheese mix to the spinach mix and mix the two together well.
  6. One-by-one, lay down the breasts, put as much mix as you think they will hold onto them, fold them gently back together, and wrap them with rashers of bacon (probably 2 or 3 per breast. Secure with cocktail sticks.
  7. Spread the remaining cheese/spinach mix on pieces of crispbread to serve as nibbles.
  8. Put some olive oil into your casserole, bring it back to medium heat, and add the rest of the onion. Put a lid on and cook for a few minutes.
  9. Bring the heat to high and gently add the chicken breasts. It should take about 2 minutes for a side to brown, so brown each side.
  10. Once the chickens are browned, pour in the bottle of wine and add the peppers.
  11. Replace the lid and cook on medium for about 40 mins

I served it over basmati rice.
It has to be good hurricane food, 'cos we've blue skies and puffy white clouds today!

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