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Chicken Parcels & Summer Rice Salad


Hurray! It's the Bank Holiday weekend and the weather is actually good! If you have friends around this weekend this recipe will probably come in handy. I was thinking that there are loads of recipes out there for stuffed chicken but the ones that involve cheese end up with you having to scrape it off the baking tray. Since I'm never going to give up on cheese, I thought why don't I try Greek yogurt as a base instead? It's thick enough not to run in high temperatures. So here we are: 
 
For the parcels: 
- four chicken breasts, butterflied
- three spoonfuls of Greek yogurt
- three spoonfuls of grated Parmesan 
- eight pieces of sun dried tomatoes
- paprika to sprinkle
- olive oil
- cooking string or toothpicks
- splash of cherry brandy
 
For the rice salad:
- two cups rice
- four cups of water
- chicken flavouring - from the Kosher isle in the supermarket
- two handfuls of spinach - washed
- a beef tomato
- half a sweet, white onion
- a handful of pine nuts
- salt & pepper
- one or two limes
 
 
 
Start with the chicken breasts, wash and dry them and lay them on a chopping board, run the knife down the side, length-wise to open them up. Don't shy away, if you want yummy food you need to get your hands dirty; or you can ask your butcher to do it for you! 
 
In a bowl mix the yogurt, Parmesan and olive oil. You don't need any salt in the mixture because the Parmesan does the job. Spread the mixture equally on the butterflied chicken breasts. Top the mixture with two sun dried tomatoes on each chicken piece and grind some fresh pepper over it. Fold it gently and secure it with a piece of string or two toothpicks.
 
Place the chicken parcels on an oiled baking tray and sprinkle some paprika, coarse salt and pepper over them. Bake in the over for half an hour at 200C. If you think it's getting dry, cover it with foil, it will allow for the juices to remain in the baking tray and you can use them afterwards for the gravy. 
 
Bring the rice to boil, you are using more water than normal, but don't worry, you'll discard some of it later. Add a spoonful of chicken soup flavouring in the water, it really does the trick. Do not let the rice cook until it absorbs all of its' water. When it's ready tip the pan over a shiv and drain the excess water away. This way the rice will be drier than usual and will absorb all of the tomato juices. 

Chop  the beef tomato and onion finely. Toss the pine nuts around a dry frying pan for two minutes, they get a smoky flavour. Once the rice is drained, tip it back in the pot adding the chopped tomatoes, onions, spinach and pine nuts. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Use the liquid left in the baking tray for the gravy. It's already so flavoursome that you don't need to do much more, just add a splash of cherry liqueur and some salt if needed and let it warm up for a couple of minutes over the heat.

Layer the rice salad on a serving plate and place the chicken parcels on top. Last but not least, squeeze a lime over the chicken and rice, it really lifts all the flavours!
 


 

2 comments

  1. Sounds and looks delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Seema! Give it a go and let me know!

    ReplyDelete

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