Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chicken with a Herb Cream Cheese Sauce

I was experimenting with herbs the other day. My herbs are taking over my garden. I wanted to try something a bit different. I had a package of cream cheese in the fridge and thought I would play around with a spin-off of stuffed chicken. This actually turned out excellent and was quite pleased with the results. I hope you all enjoy as well.

6 chicken breasts
1 pkg cream cheese
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp ground pepper
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Butterfly the chicken breasts and pound until they are thin. In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, rosemary, sage and thyme. Pulse until well blended and the cream cheese is creamy (no lumps).  Your hands will be getting chicken juice on them, so my advice at this point is to get little dishes and separate out your salt, pepper and paprika.  Lay out one chicken breast. Take a bit of the cream cheese and on one side, spread it down the chicken. Roll the chicken up. Take a bit of the salt, pepper and paprika and rub it on the outside of the rolled up chicken. Lay on your cutting board with the seam side up. You will be searing the chicken seam side down. It was just easier for me to find pick up the chicken and find the seam and turn over when I was ready to begin searing. Repeat for all pieces. You should have some of the cream cheese mixture left over. This will actually be used to make a sauce. In a Dutch oven, heat up 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Making sure the seam side is down, place all chicken rolls into the Dutch oven for about 3 – 5 minutes on each side. If you have a hard time trying to turn them over, don’t!! The chicken will not “fight” you when it is ready to be turned. 

With the left over cream cheese, heat ½ cup of the chicken stock and mix together. The cream cheese will begin to melt. Once you have seared on all sides, deglaze the Dutch oven with the ½ cup chicken stock and then pour in the stock/cream cheese mixture. Stir carefully until well blended. Cover the Dutch oven with aluminum foil and place into the oven for about 35 minutes. I would at this point start checking your chicken for doneness. I originally cooked mine for 45 minutes and found the chicken to be too dry. This was of course because, it was already seared and so the cooking process had already begun. If you find it is not cooked, continue cooking for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Grilled Marinated Mushrooms

Hi friends! Wow it has been a while since I have posted. Not that I haven't been cooking, but I have kind of been in a slump and have resorted to my old stand-bys. Plus, it is summer y'all. This girl has been out as much as she can baking in the sun! My mum and dad had these mushrooms and sent the recipe over to me. They just loved them!! I thought I would give them a try. Was out at my BFF's cottage today and we were grilling chicken thighs. Now, the recipe called for dried herbs, but since I love growing fresh herbs in my garden, I substituted with fresh! I think I actually liked it better (even though I haven't tried it with the dried) only because you can see the fresh herbs in the marinade. I hope you all enjoy!!

1 tbsp dried sage
1 tbsp dried tarragon
1 tsp black pepper
1 heaping tbsp crushed garlic
½ cup olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp salt
Large button mushrooms ( stems trimmed only do not remove stems )

Combine all ingredients except mushrooms in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Clean mushrooms and place in large ziplock bag add marinade and make sure all the mushrooms are coated. Let mushrooms marinate at least a couple of hours. 

Preheat grill and place mushrooms on skewers (make sure you soak the skewers for at least an hour prior to grilling so they don't burst into flames) and grill turning for at least 10 minutes. During the grilling time, continue to baste with the extra marinade, being careful with the flames (the oil will cause the fire to flame up).