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Roast Stuffed Chicken in Serrano Ham


Roast Stuffed Chicken Wrapped in Serrano Ham
serves 2

The Stuffing:

1 slice of Nutty Doorsteps bread
4 dried, ready-to-eat apricots
a few sprigs of thyme
1 small onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons of olive oil

1- Fry the onion in olive oil over a medium heat.

2- Blitz the bread, thyme and apricots in a mini blender until you have fine breadcrumbs.

3- Add this mix to the pan and fry until brown and crispy.

4- Take off the heat and leave to cool.


The Potatoes:

10 medium sized potatoes, peeled and washed.
1 bottle of sunflower oil.

1- Choose a dry type of potato such as a Kerr's Pink, a Rooster or a King Edward for making roast potatoes.  Avoid potatoes with a high water content such as whites and Maris Pipers as they make awful roast potatoes!

2- Add sunflower oil to your roasting tin and preheat the oven to 220c.  Make sure the tin is 1/3 to 1/2 full and that it is in the oven whilst it is heating up.

3- Peel and wash 10 medium sized potatoes- if needs be, cut them into similar sizes so they cook at the same rate.

4- Par-boil these by adding them to a pot with salt and boiling water and bringing them to the boil.  Once boiling, immediately turn them down to a very low heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

5- Take off the heat and, using a large collander, drain the potatoes and give them a good shake around in the collander.  This will create a textured affect that will give your roasties that all important crispiness.

6- Roast the potatoes in a tin of sunflower oil in the oven which has been preheated to 220c.  The oil should come half way up the potatoes when they are placed in the tin.

7- You will be giving your potatoes a head start in the oven before adding your chicken so start them at 220c, turn them down to 200c as soon as you put them in, then 20 minutes later, when you add the chicken, turn them down to 180c and cook for another 25 minutes.

The Chicken:

2 chicken fillets
4-6 slices of serrano ham.

1- Wash and trim 2 chicken fillets.

2- Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket in the side of the fillet where you can insert your stuffing.

3- Pack the stuffing in tightly and, using 2 or 3 slices of serrano/parma ham, seal the gap by wrapping these around the stuffed fillet.  If you don't have these, a good quality slice of bacon will do just as well.

4- Place a frying pan on a high heat and sear the chicken fillets on all sides.  You can either transfer the chicken to an oven proof dish or put the whole pan in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.  Just don't do what I always do and grab the handle of the pan after it has come out of the oven!



The gravy:

1 knorr chicken stockpot (or similar)
30g butter
1 1/2 tablespoons of sauce flour or plain flour
1 glass white wine
300ml of boiling water
bisto or gravy browning (optional)

1- Melt the butter in a wide pan over a medium heat.

2- Add the flour and cook this mixture (roux.)

3- Turn the heat up high and add the white wine. 

4- Evaporate the alcohol off (you'll know by the smell) and slowly add the water to avoid lumps.

5- Add the stock pot and mix until dissolved.

6- At this stage, you should taste your gravy to see if it needs any salt or pepper.  Your gravy may seem a little pale and you might not like this.  If it bothers you, add some gravy browning such as bisto.

The Veg:

1 carrot
1/2 a courgette
1 handful of mange tout
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
sesame seeds to garnish

1- Finely slice your vegetables and stir-fry them in a wok or frying pan for a few minutes.

2- serve in a warm bowl sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Tips and Hints:

Don't worry if your potatoes are starting to get too brown before your chicken is done, just take them out of the oil and rest them in the oven in a dish.
Take care with the hot oil in the pan in the oven.  When you remove the pan once the potatoes are done roasting, place it somewhere stable out of the reach of children.
The stuffing, chicken and vegetables can all be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge for when you are ready to use them.
Once cool, the oil in the pan can be passed through a sieve and stored back in the original bottle to be used for future roasties.  Just be sure to mark the bottle with a marker or pen as anything else cooked with it will have a strong flavour of spuds.
For Christmas, try substituting the chicken for turkey and the apricots for dried cranberries.
I usually cook an extra fillet as they make great sandwiches once cold and sliced.

Roast Chicken and Stuffing Sandwich

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