Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Failure and Success

Let's start with yesterday's mistake.

The sauce, just about reduced.

It looked good, smelled good, but tasted wrong. Too much soy? Too much Szechuan pepper? Vodka-spiked chicken? Something didn't vibe.

On to today's experiment. Made for one, adjust accordingly.

One boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 1/4 tbsp kosher salt
1 1/4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp boiling water
2 cups cold water
Feta cheese
Two strips of prosciutto
Dried oregano
Dried basil
Garlic powder
Fresh ground pepper
Fresh rosemary sprigs

Add the salt and sugar to the boiling water, stir to dissolve. Add Cold water, stir until everything dissolved. Make sure the brine is COLD, or you'll be warming the chicken, which isn't good news bacteria-wise. Pour the solution into a ziploc bag with the chicken breast. Place in the fridge for 45-90min. This is brining the chicken, which will cause the meat to absorb water and some flavour. The sugar is to cut the saltiness.

In a small bowl, mix together feta, dried herbs, garlic powder, pepper, and butter (cold, cut into small pieces). It doesn't have to be combined, just well mixed.

Preheat oven to 425ºF

After the brining is done, dump the water and rinse off the breast. Place it between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound the breast with a meat hammer, heavy can, whatever, to thin it out so it can be easily rolled.

Lie the two strips of prosciutto next to one another, with some small overlap. Place the chicken on top of the prosciutto.

Put the feta mix in the centre of the chicken breast. Roll the prosciutto and chicken breast. Use toothpicks to hold the roll together.

Heat oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place the rolled chicken onto the pan, and roll slowly, to quickly fry all over. Add a bit more oil.

Place the rosemary sprigs on top of the chicken. Transfer pan to middle rack of oven and roast for 15-20min. If you want, use a probe thermometer - meat should reach 160-165ºF.

Remove pan, and serve. I served with steamed green beans (I have so many to go through) and spicy freezer fries.

Out of the oven.

Close-up time.

The full meal... yum.

Looking good.

Damn was that tasty.

Yah, tonight's experiment more than made up for yesterday's mistake. Best chicken I've had in a while. Definitely on my make-again list.

A few mistakes I made in this one that were fixed:

- I didn't let the brine get cold enough before adding it to the bag with the chicken. I realized this as I was pouring, as it was still warm. I quickly dropped the sealed bag into an ice bath to get the temperature down quickly.

- I didn't cook the chicken long enough at first (I had it in for 12 min) This messed up the timing with the other parts of the meal. I put it back in the oven for 3 more minutes, and broiled on high for the last 2. It turned out really well despite myself.

1 comment:

Alyce said...

It is so very wrong that you had freezer fries with that.