Monday, 10 October 2011

Crowdpleasers; Greek Style Chicken

Well don't know about you but September was a bit of a write-off for me! My new job has taken up most of my time and was really overwhelming. Feeling rubbish because of a horrible cold I just couldn't shake didn't help. We also had to say goodbye to my wonderful Grandad, Brian Chapman, which was a sad time but it's been good to have lots of family get togethers.

Anyway, October is here and I'm feeling so much more like myself. Feel really positive about work and suddenly have gone all productive; new systems in place, routines sorted and bunting all over the show. I'm not even joking about the bunting. Love teaching, me. And so I'm back to blogging with a positive attitude and the perfect crowd pleasing dish.

If you're ever stuck for what to cook for guests with lots of different tastes I would truly recommend this dish (I may even start a crowdpleasers feature, who knows!). It's an old failsafe for me and everyone who's ate it has loved it. However it's still an exciting recipe, not just boring pub food style fodder.

Stuffing chicken breasts is harrrd
I stumbled across the original recipe in the summer of 2009 when I came home from a holiday in Kardamena. I'd absolutely fallen in love with the Greek people, food, atmosphere and culture. I immediately began searching for Greek recipes and restaurants, determined to recreate the exciting meze's, salads, stews and signature dishes I had experienced. My finding's included Dimitri's Taverna in Manchester, which I must revisit before I post on it as I haven't been for a while (and the prices have gone up quite a bit since tsk tsk), many Greek cookbooks, websites and this fantastic dish.

I won't write out the instructions as they're done perfectly on the original website by Eleni from Taverna Agni. I do insist you take a look and have a go if you fancy it! (I add some chopped button mushrooms to the sauce too for a bit of extra veg and additional texture)

Instead here are my pictures along with the recipe for my starter of Stuffed Mushrooms (serves 4).

4 x portobello mushrooms (1 each, or double the recipe for 2 each)
Olive oil
100g rindless streaky bacon, roughly chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
75g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 egg beaten
Black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley

1. Roughly chop the mushroom stems; rinse and drain the mushroom caps.
2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and stir fry the bacon for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion, mushroom stems and garlic. Cook for a further 3-4 mins. Remove from the heat.
3. Stir in the breadcrumbs, parsley and beaten egg into the mushroom mixture. Add plenty of pepper. Leave to cool.
4. Place the mushroom caps on an oiled baking tray. Fill with the mushroom mixture.
5. Bake at 220°C for 15-20 mins or until tender and lightly browned.

Bless it, not the prettiest looking thing, but it hit the spot.

I served the Greek stuffed chicken with some sauteed sweet potato for me and mother dear. For my sister (who was being a fusspot) I made my creamy new potatoes, but with oregano instead of mint. It's a colourful tasty dish that really takes me back to the Greek taverna's. Guaranteed Crowdpleasers*

*Please note: I take no responsibility for the overall pleasure levels of your crowds.

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