More food from France! I spent most of the evening last night cooking and it was well worth it. I whipped up the most amazing chicken dish I’ve had in a while. It was a bit of effort, however, and perhaps not for the faint-hearted, but man was it ever good.
Start by preheating your oven to 375º Fahrenheit (or 200º if you’re in France and using a Celsius oven, which is really odd. Rant: France is an odd place, Celsius ovens, not queuing up… its baffling really… for a more detailed rant see my post on my travel blog, I think they’re’ll be a Part 2 coming fairly shortly as well.) Okay, so you’ve preheated your oven, time to get the marinade going:
This marinade is really quite simple, and delicious here goes: In a bowl, mix:
The juice and zest of two lemons
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar, any vinegar would do except white vinegar, not enough flavour)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Once it is all mixed up, reserve about a half cup of it to pour over the chicken later, throw the rest of it in a bag with the chicken breasts and let all the flavours talk for 20 minutes or so. The longer you leave the chicken to marinate the yummier and more intense the flavour will be.
In the meantime we can commence the sautéing of the mushrooms. Slice up 16 (or so) ounces of mushrooms (aka, a pound, 500g) in a pan over medium heat, melt about 2 Tbsp butter and sauté the mushrooms in that with a clove or two of minced garlic and a shallot. They will turn out looking like this:
While the chicken is marinating, you should also thinly slice your cheese. The recipe I have calls for Swiss cheese, but there are so many kinds of Swiss cheese in this country, none of them actually called Swiss cheese, so I opted for a Dutch cheese: Edam.
By this time, the chicken will be marinated. Take each chicken breast out of the bag and cut it open like a hot dog bun. You don’t want to cut all the way through the meat. Stuff it with some of the mushrooms and a few slices of cheese. You should also skewer them with a few toothpicks to hold them together, but like I said, France is a weird country and I was unable to find toothpicks, so I went without. As a result, my stuffing fell out a little bit, but it wasn’t an issue really, I’ll tell you how I ended up fixing the problem.
Once all of the chicken breasts have been stuffed, melt some more butter in a pan over high heat, once it is melted, sear the chicken breasts for a few minutes on each side. (You will likely have to do two batches.) The balsamic vinegar will get all carmely and yummy and everything will be great. Once the chicken has been seared, place them all in a foil-lined casserole dish. Pour the reserved marinade over top and put all the stuffing that fell out in there too.
Pop all of this into the oven (375º, ‘member the rant?) for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it though, you really don’t want this to be overcooked. The second you see no pink, you want to yank it out!
Easy copy-and-paste-able directions:
Mushroom and Swiss Stuffed Chicken
6 chicken breasts
Marinade (recipe above)
16 oz. mushrooms
A few cloves of minced garlic
1 shallot, sliced
Salt and pepper
An 8 oz. block of swiss cheese, sliced up
Preheat the oven to 375º. Prepare the marinade and set aside 1/2 cup for later. Throw the chicken in a bag with the rest of the marinade and let it soak for about 20 minutes white you saute the mushrooms.
To saute the mushrooms, turn the burner on medium-high and add the shallot, garlic, and a little bit of olive oil. You might want to do it in batches because if you get too many mushrooms in at the same time, they’ll get soggy. I did it in two batches, saving half of the onion and garlic for the other half of the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.
To assemble, slice the marinated chicken breasts in half, but not all the way, just like a hot dog bun. Place some mushrooms, a few slices of Swiss cheese, and a little of the tarragon inside. Stab each breast together with a few toothpicks.
Turn the burner on high and fire a pat of butter in your skillet. Sear the chicken for a few minutes on each side and then place on a foil lined baking sheet. I did three at a time because they wouldn’t all fit in the skillet.
Bake the chicken at 375º for just about 10 minutes or until it’s done. You should not see any pink, but as soon as you don’t see any more pink when you cut a little slice in the thickest part, get it right out.
Bon appetit!– TML
(And to give credit where credit is due: this is recipe is heavily inspired by Yammy at http://www.yammiesnoshery.com/2012/06/mushroom-and-swiss-stuffed-chicken.html)