Monday, December 06, 2010

Valuable After Thoughts...

Instead of buying the traditional Christmas bird, following the recipe below (the flavour resembles pheasant), one each per person will more than make up for any missing turkey (or beef or pork) when served with enough side dishes.
Those who do quite a bit of home-cooking will probably have all the ingredients already in store. So a good recipe to file away if the worst happens and we get snowed up without any chance of a turkey being delivered (or too late to thaw out - if frozen). Perhaps time for a change anyway. Worth a thought.
Mock Game - Christmas Style: serves 4
8 small chicken breasts, pref with skin left on
8 rashers bacon, pref smoked and streaky (rind removed)
salt and pepper
2 oz (50g) butter
1 tblsp olive oil
8 fl oz (225ml) red wine
10 fl oz (3ooml) chicken stock
zest of 1 lemon (or could use orange)
5 tblsp redcurrant jelly
half tsp black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1 oz (25g) plain flour
8 thin sliced bread (brown or white)
Place the breasts between sheets of cling film and bash them with a rolling pin (or clenched fist) to make them spread and become as thin as possible. Using the back of a knife, spread the bacon rashers out so they are the same length as each chicken breast.
Place the breasts skin side down on a board and season well, then place the rasher of bacon on each, and working from the wider end, roll up and tied securely with string in several places (or use cocktails sticks as skewers).
Melt half the butter with the oil, then add the chicken and cook, turning often, until browned all over. Remove from pan and set aside. To the juices in the pan, add the wine, stirring to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by a third, then add half the redcurrant jelly and the remaining ingredients (other than the flour, butter and bread). Stir through to melt the jelly, then return the chicken to the pan and bring to the simmer. Cover the surface closely with greaseproof paper and simmer for half an hour or until the chicken is cooked.
During this time, blend the remaining butter with the flour, and when the chicken is cooked remove these and put into a heated serving dish (removing strings), cover and keep warm. To the liquid in the pan whisk in the butter/flour, a bit at a time, until thickened slightly. Keep over low heat while toasting the bread. Spread this with the remaining red-currant jelly, and cut into triangles. Keep warm.
Sieve the sauce over the cooked chicken, and serve with choice of vegetables (red cabbage goes well with this dish) and the triangles of toast.