My husband loves chicken so it’s something I tend to cook for the family several times a week.  And although there are numerous recipes on my evening rotation, sometimes it’s nice to mix things up a bit.  Remember how I let my husband flick through some recipe books a couple of weeks ago?  Well he chose these recipes out of Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days cookbook.  They sounded so good that I thought I’d better give them a crack.  The first recipe is My Old Man’s Superb Chicken which involves chicken breasts (not my preferred cut) stuffed with an assortment of mushrooms (I chose shiitake & Swiss brown) and wrapped in some deliciously flaky puff pastry.  It’s fairly easy and really quite ingenious.  I think because my chicken breasts were way too small (120-150 grams each compared with the recommended 200 gram portions), the chicken unfortunately didn’t quite wrap around all of the stuffing – but still.. the recipe was pretty darn good and will be something I’d consider pulling out again when we entertain one of these days.  The second recipe is Jamie’s Baked New Potatoes with Sea Salt & Rosemary which are super easy and really very tasty.  The two recipes together were fantastic and left us all feeling very happy and satisfied at the end of our meal.

MY OLD MAN’S SUPERB CHICKEN (SERVES 4)

Jamie Oliver's Old Man's Chicken 1280-1

Ingredients
170 g mushrooms, any combination
olive oil
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 x 200 g (7 oz) skinless chicken breasts
1 x 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) pack of puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
2 heaped tablespoons wholegrain mustard
1 large wineglass of white wine
140 mL (5 fl oz) double cream

Directions
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.  Chop up the mushrooms – half rough and half fine.  To a hot pan, add a couple of lugs of olive oil and slowly fry the garlic with the mushrooms for about 10 minutes.  Season to taste and stir in the chopped parsley.  Allow to cool.

Pull back the chicken fillet on the breast and, keeping it intact, score into the breast and stuff the chicken with the cooled mushrooms.

Using a little dusting of flour and a rolling pin, roll the pastry out to around 45 cm / 18 inches in length, 20 cm / 8 inches wide and just over 0.5 cm / 1/4 inch thick. {I used Pampas puffed pastry so omitted this step.}  Slice into 4 pieces, lengthways, and wrap around each chicken breast.  Brush the pastry with a little egg, and cook in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.  While the chicken is cooking, put the mustard and white wine into a hot pan and allow to reduce until you’ve cooked away the alcohol smell.  Add the cream and simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, then remove from the heat and season to taste.  Slice each chicken breast in 3 and serve with a bit of sauce and a little drizzle of olive oil if you like.  Bloomin’ gorgeous.

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BAKED NEW POTATOES WITH SEA SALT & ROSEMARY (SERVES 4-6)

Jamie Oliver's Old Man's Chicken 1280-24

Ingredients
1 kg / 2 lb 3 oz Jersey Royals
1 tablespoon olive oil
Maldon sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked and bashed

Directions
Wash your potatoes and parboil until almost tender.  When done, drain them, drizzle with just a little touch of olive oil and roll in a tablespoon of Maldon sea salt, a little freshly ground black pepper and the rosemary.  Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7.  Put the potatoes in a roasting tray and cook in the oven for 25 minutes until golden.  Or wrap them in tin-foil and throw them on the barbie for the same amount of time.

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