karohemd: (Chef)
Ozzy ([personal profile] karohemd) wrote2010-08-07 07:27 pm
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[Cooking] Bacon "wrapped" chicken breast

Inspired by a recent post by Kayotic Kitchen, I bought a nice, thick, free-range chicken breast from my glorious butcher, the Art of Meat (and the quality of his offerings is indeed fantastic at reasonable prices). I don't eat much meat so I usually pig out on Saturday and pay very happily at little extra over supermarket prices for meat that's three times as good.
Anyway, I also bought some streaky bacon to wrap it in but it turned out to be not enough (more of that later).

To start off, I made a marinade from olive oil, dijon mustard, lots of garlic, black pepper and thyme and smeared it all over the breast as well as inside a pocket I cut into the thickest part. I then let it sit in the fridge for three hours.

When it came to cooking, I laid out the streaky bacon on a big piece of clingfilm and noticed there wasn't enough. The strips wouldn't completely cover the rather thick breast but I tried anyway. In hinsight, I should have just shoved it in the oven as it was but I went through with the original plan of frying it off in the pan first to get the bacon a bit crispy all over. It obviously fell off so when I transferred it to the baking tray, I just draped the bacon strips over it and put it in a medium oven for about 20 minutes.

Despite the messy appearance, the taste was glorious. It was nice and moist (although it could have done with a little less cooking but with chicken I tend to err on the side of caution) and the marinade had penetrated well.
Note: I didn't add any salt as the bacon tends to be quite salty and it didn't need it. However, that's me who doesn't need much salt. Your mileage might vary so I suggest you put a little bowl of sea salt on the table.

With it I had a nice blob of creamy mash and some sauteed courgettes.

Omnomnom, definitely one of the tastiest plates of food I've ever made. Shame there's no photgraphic evidence because it looked just too hideous.

[identity profile] bloomeenee.livejournal.com 2010-08-07 11:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooh good link!

[identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com 2010-08-07 11:18 pm (UTC)(link)
You're welcome. One warning, despite being Dutch, she insists pandering to Americans and only uses Imperial measurements, like those stupid "cups" instead of proper weights.
That said, her recipes are easy to follow and measurements are for cowards, anyway, unless you're baking.

[identity profile] undyingking.livejournal.com 2010-08-08 10:44 am (UTC)(link)
I think Americans might be a bit aggrieved to see their beloved cups described as Imperial measurements! I believe their measurement system is officially known as "customary units", and is ideologically distinct from the Imperial (ie. British) system of pounds and ounces. (Although, obviously, with common roots and some overlap... but cups in particular were unknown in the UK until the recent Internet-driven invasion of American recipes.)

[identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com 2010-08-08 12:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Hm, yes, you're right, OK, read that as American measurements.

[identity profile] derekct.livejournal.com 2010-08-08 06:31 am (UTC)(link)
Sounds very nice. I buy from my local butchers since compared to a supermarket I am cheaper at times, but with better quality.

[identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com 2010-08-08 12:41 pm (UTC)(link)
*nods* Depends on what I buy, the price often isn't much different to supermarkets.
The difference where you are is probably even more pronounced as your butcher will have local produce while the supermarkets transport it all from central.

[identity profile] whiskeylover.livejournal.com 2010-08-08 11:42 am (UTC)(link)
Did you stretch the bacon properly before wrapping? That normally does the trick, as the bacon contracts around the chicken when fried.

[identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com 2010-08-08 12:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Hm, there wasn't that much stretch (maybe I should have taken it out of the fridge a little earlier) and the slippery marinade didn't help.
No matter, it tasted great. :)

[identity profile] whiskeylover.livejournal.com 2010-08-08 10:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Basically, if you put the bacon on a chopping board, take the back of a broad bladed knife along the rashers, as though you were spreading them with butter (I suppose a rolling pin might also work). This should stretch them to about 1.5 time their original length, make them quite a bit thinner & flatter. Works wonders when wrapping anything in bacon.

[identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com 2010-08-08 11:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Excellent tip, thanks! I shall remember that for next time, as the rashers could have done with being a bit thinner.