Before, after & plated.
Chicken breast, even if stuffed with something nice, can turn out quite dry if oven-cooked. This method avoids that dry, grainy texture that can just take the edge off a lovely meal.
But Fridge Jelly. Sounds GROSS!
So, just what is this friggin’ FRIDGE JELLY?
Well, if you put half a dozen chicken thighs into an oven dish, add about half a cup of water and cover with foil, cooking them in a 180C oven for about 90 minutes, you not only get fall-off-the-bone chicken meat that is great for chicken salad, chicken pasta and other things nice, you also get an amount of liquid that can be poured into a cup and popped into the fridge. As it cools, it separates, conveniently, into a layer of fat atop a jelly of stock. Discarding the fat layer into a can or yogurt pot or something, it can be put into the bin, leaving the jelly.
“Don’t Waste Taste”. That’s what I say. This jellified stock is not quite fat-free, but it’s not bad at all. This is how I used it on this occasion…..
For two people, find:
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 onion (You know that I prefer red, but whatever you have. Avoid blue…..)
- Red pepper – amount as you wish; this book is not called Approximation Cookery for nothing!
- Little new spuds – Charlotte, Exquisa, Grenaille, Ratte or similar
- Stuffing for the chicken – I used a low-fat cream cheese, but you can use ham, spinach, bacon….just about anything…..goat’s cheeses is lovely in a chicken breast. (Using kippers as a stuffing is not recommended)
- Seasonings, etc
- A splash of water.
- Sharpen your knife.
- Cut the chicken breast horizontally, halving its thickness, almost right through. Open it like a book. Place whatever you intend to use as a stuffing into it, add whatever seasoning ou want and close the ‘book’.
- If you wish, you could wrap the closed chicken breast in bacon, but I wanted to keep it open to see how the method would help keep it moist.
- Place the chicken breasts into a deep oven dish.
- Chop the pepper and the onion into smallish bits and sprinkle over.
- Put the baby new spuds all around the dish, snuggling against the chicken breasts.
- Give the fridge cup a mix up with a fork and pour the jelly over the contents of the oven dish. Spread it about evenly and add a splash of water.
- Not exactly demanding so far, is it…..?
- Neither is this bit….. put it into an oven set at about 180-200C for about 45 minutes.
- Do your veg. I cooked French beans and carrot batons in a saucepan in a chicken Oxo stock, but you do what y’want.
- Plate up, complete with the spuds, onion and pepper mixture.
Enjoy the flavours!
……..and you thought you couldn’t cook?