Day 6 – Chicken with Oregano and Lemon
A boned-out chicken fillet can be a boon to cooks because you can cook it in so many ways. As well as flattening it out and frying it off as a parmigiana, you can quickly fill it with a stuffing and roll it back up for a wonderful variation on a classic involtini. Even better, you don’t have to use a breast fillet – a thigh fillet or even a chicken maryland fillet works very well indeed.
I know this because my local poulterer – that’s fancy-speak for a chicken shop – does a roaring trade in chicken maryland fillets. The drumstick and thigh are sold in one piece with their bones removed. They are flattened a little, making them bigger and easier to work with than dinky thigh fillets. I turned out a stuffing using rice, some preserved lemons – don’t worry you can use ordinary lemons just as easily – and the first of the new-seasion oregano that is now in shops. For a while through the coldest of the winter months it seemed very difficult to find, even though it grows perennially. DO try to grow some in your garden, it’s a very tough plant and is a lovely looking shrub that will fit in easily enough.
So, to the chicken. If you can’t be bothered fiddling around with chicken fillets, use this stuffing in your next roast chicken and bake as usual. It’s SO much tastier than a regular sage and onion stuffing, which so many people avoid (and I can’t really blame them, when it’s made with stale dried herbs it tastes dusty) and with no breadcrumbs, it’s far nicer for coeliacs to enjoy.
4 chicken maryland fillets (ask the butcher or chicken shop staff to bone out the marylands and turn them into longish fillets); 1/3 cup long grain rice; 2 rashers bacon; 1 small onion,finely diced; 1 clove garlic, finely diced or crushed; 1 preserved lemon OR zest of 1 lemon; 2 tbsp fresh oregano, (about 1 small bunch), finely chopped; sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
stuffing of cooked rice, oregano or lemon thyme, preserved lemon, onion, garlic
rolled up involtini style, tied, and seared in oil.
Added to casserole, with brunois of carrot, celery, onion, leek, garlic, , de-glazed with wine/water/ chicken stock and thickened with cornflour.
baked for 40 – 50 mins/ 180C