Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Stuffed Chicken Thighs with Gravy


I like stuffing chicken thighs (or breasts) to add to the flavour, and give a bit of variation to every day meals. I don't always like the hassle of making the stuffing though so will often substitute a ready-made one. I cooked these stuffed chicken breasts for our dinner the other night and my youngest son loved them.

Stuffed chicken thighs with gravy

This recipe serves 4
Bacon wrapped chicken thigh with sage and onion stuffing




You will need:

4 chicken thighs, with bone removed
1 pack sage and onion stuffing
8 slices bacon
Black pepper
Olive oil

 

Method:

  1. Prepare the sage and onion stuffing per the directions on the box. The type I use you just pour the contents into a bowl and add about 200ml cold water, give it a stir then let it sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Place two slices bacon on the cutting board, lay the thigh flat on top. Place a spoonful of stuffing into the middle and roll up the thigh around it with the bacon.
  3. Drizzle a bit of olive oil into the bottom of a baking tray and place the wrapped thigh on top. Drizzle a bit more olive oil over the top if desired and sprinkle with a bit of black pepper.
  4. Bake in a moderately hot oven for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely.
  5. The gravy can be made relatively easy.
  6. Melt a small amount of butter in a saucepan. Add a spoonful of flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 – 3 minutes. Pour in 1 pint chicken or vegetable stock, a bit at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Season with pepper. I find that most store-bought stocks are salty enough so don't add any more salt unless you taste the gravy and think it's needed. To lift the flavour just a tiny bit more, try adding a ½ teaspoon of malt vinegar.
  7. Serve these stuffed chicken thighs and gravy with a seasonal green vegetable and mashed potatoes.

 

If you'd prefer to use chicken breast…

This dish can be made equally well using chicken breasts. I just prefer the flavour of the thighs, plus they're cheaper.
You can either butterfly open the breast, or cut a pocket into the centre before stuffing the breast and wrapping it in the bacon. 

How to

Debone a chicken thigh:

Place the thigh skin side down on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife make a cut on either side of the
Slide the knife under the bone
bone, slide the knife underneath the bone on one side and run it down the underside. Then detach it at the top and bottom.

Butterfly a chicken breast:

Place the breast skin side down on the cutting board facing lengthwise away from you. Using a small sharp filleting knife, cut 2/3 straight down the middle, perpendicular to the board. Turn the knife at a right angle and now cut parallel with the board 2/3 of the way through one side, and then the other. Fold open the breast to either side. If the breast is especially thick, you may want to make another parallel cut to fold it out a second time.
You can then place a spoonful of the stuffing into the centre and wrap the breast around it.

Open a pocket in the breast:

Place the breast on the cutting board with the thicker side closest to you. Using a sharp filleting knife make a cut through the centre of this thickest part at the side, cutting parallel to the board and using your non-dominant hand to hold the breast steady on the board. Move the blade back and forth to enlarge the pocket while taking care not to cut through the other sides or through the bottom.
Using a spoon or (as I do) your fingers, push a small amount of the stuffing into the pocket.

 

Why bacon?

I will either wrap the breast in streaky bacon or will use the reserved skin from off the breast to wrap the chicken once stuffed. This helps to keep the meat moist while adding flavour as well as keeping the whole thing from coming apart while cooking. Feel free to omit and use cocktail sticks, or use a lower-fat bacon if you desire.