Accompanied by the sound of robins gently twittering in the cherry tree over our patio on the merry go round of feeding their young in a bird box sited in the ivy on the fence, I have enjoyed a warm balmy day under the dappled shade of a tree. A good book, Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (well a good start anyway) and a young family of squabbling squirrels have provided the distraction this afternoon and made it an enjoyable, relaxing and stress free day.
"A friend of mine drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in."
I thought I would do something different for tea tonight so I did a simple recipe of mushroom stuffed chicken breast with a seasonal light salad. It was a bit of an experiment; I have seen stuffed chicken recipes before, so I gave it ago with a more simple method than you find in the books and the result was delicious - even the kids ate it.
Stuffed Chicken Breast (serves four)
Cost around £6.75.
4 medium sized skinned chicken breasts;
200g of button mushrooms, washed and chopped;
1 box of sage and onion stuffing made as per the instructions on the box;
10g ready to eat sunflower seeds.
Make up one box of sage and onion stuffing and put to one side.
Using a sharp knife and pressing down on the chicken breast with the flat of your hand (to stop you getting your fingers sliced) cut into the centre of the breast from the side until you have created a pocket in the side of the breast. Stuff the breast with the chopped mushrooms, fold the chicken breast back up again to contain the mushrooms and place them in an ovenproof dish.
With a fork, spread the sage and onion stuffing over the surface of the chicken covering as much as you can until you can't see the chicken meat. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds on the stuffing and press in with your fingers.
Cover the dish with the lid or foil. Preheat an oven to around 200 degrees and place the chicken in the top of the oven for 45 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven and remove the foil. Place back in the oven for 15 minutes to brown the stuffing and reduce the liquid from the chicken.
Serve with seasonal salad in the summer or roast vegetables in a winter. Enjoy! Little boy: "Are caterpillars good to eat?"
Father: "I've told you before; don't talk about such things at the dinner table."
Mother: "Why do you ask son?"
Little boy: "Cos I saw one on daddy's lettuce and now it's gone."