In keeping with the Mushroom Experiment Extravaganza I went ahead and decided to incorporate the quatre epices into a mushroom pork stuffing (like sausage!) to fill some chicken breasts (turducken! Albeit without the duck or the turkey.) So you see, I have learned something during my “research” for my blog! *wink wink*
Alright then, down to business.
You’ll need 8 oz of mushrooms (your choice, I used baby bellas because that’s what looked best at the market), 1 medium sweet onion and several cloves of garlic. I used about 10 cloves of garlic because in my world you can’t over spice a sausage. If you live in a world where vampires aren’t an issue, and you don’t love garlic as much as I do, feel free to pull back a bit.
Dice the mushrooms and onion, and mince up the garlic.
Heat a skillet (slowly, right?) to medium heat. When it is sizzling and hot, dump in 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil, then add the mushrooms and onions.
Saute that up until the liquid the mushrooms will release has evaporated, and the vegetables begin to get a little caramel brown on them. If you happen to have a bit of white wine leftover in the fridge, throw that in to deglaze the pan. About 1/3 to 1/2 a cup is just perfect!
Set the mushroom mixture aside to cool a bit, and begin assembling the rest of the stuffing. I used about a pound of pork, plus three chicken tenders, minced up.
Now for a long story: after reading about all that gorgeous, crispy, golden turducken skin (see my post quatre epices if you don’t know what I’m talking about) I just had to have gorgeous, crispy golden skin on my chicken. Had to have it. But at my grocery store there’s no boneless, skin-on chicken. Just the dry, anemic, naked lumps that are so popular these days. I was reduced to buying the bone in type so there would be skin, and bone the chicken myself! I was left with a pile of ribs and bones, which I had every good intention of turning into a stock, and three tenders that just weren’t going to fit into this recipe. Unless I minced them up and added them to the stuffing. Which I did.
The bones, however, I did not turn into stock.
But that’s another story.
Aw heck. I’m just lazy.
Anyways, put the pork, minced-up tenders (if you have ’em), about 2 tablespoons of quatre epices, minced garlic and the cooled mushroom mixture into a large bowl. Season with salt. Mix it all up gently. And then, (this is really, really important) put a little patty of the filling into your still-hot skillet and fry it up. Eat. Smile. Adjust seasoning as needed. Repeat until the seasoning is perfect, but not until all the filling is gone.
Pound out your chicken to about 1/4″ thick. I used a rolling-pin.
Next, sprinkle a little more quatre epices over the chicken…
spread on some filling…
fold it all up tightly…
and roll it up in plastic wrap.
Place the rolls in the refrigerator and chill for at least a couple of hours or overnight. Do this so the whole thing doesn’t come apart when you cook it, and also so that the flavors have time to fall in love, get married, and have lots of delicious little flavor-babies.
About an hour before dinner time, begin preheating your oven to 400º. Also begin heating an oven-proof skillet to medium high. Unwrap the chicken, sprinkle on a little more of the spice mixture (just to make it purty. Purty food is yummier) and place it seam side down (skin side up) in the hot skillet.
Leave it alone for a couple of minutes, until it is seared and caramelized, then (without turning the chicken or in other ways disturbing it) pour a bit of water into the skillet (about 1 cup) and stick the whole thing in the oven. Let the chicken roast for about an hour (or until it reaches 160º in the middle, adding more water occasionally if the pan is drying out. The skin should be crispy, savory, and golden brown! Soggy chicken skin is a crime and a cryin’ shame.
Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes while you reduce the liquid in the pan to a runny sauce. Spoon off any excess grease. Slice the chicken and serve. Eat and be happy!
Here’s the full recipe!
Quatre Epices Stuffed Chicken!
3 boneless chicken breasts (skin-on, if possible!)
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped (I used baby bellas)
1 medium onion, diced
1/3 c. white wine (optional)
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground pork
2 tbs. quatre epices (or to taste)
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil, and then the onions and mushrooms. Saute without salting until caramelized. Deglaze the pan with wine. Season with salt to taste. Set aside to cool.
Mix the pork, mushroom mixture, garlic, and spices in a large bowl. Season with salt. Fry a small amount to test for seasoning. Adjust and repeat as needed.
Pound chicken to 1/4″ thick cutlets. Sprinkle the inside with a little more of the spice mix. Spread about 1/2-3/4 c. of the stuffing on the chicken. Fold in the edges and roll each breast tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for at least two hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400º. Heat an oven proof skillet over medium high. Sear the chicken, skin side up, until golden brown, sprinkling more spices over the skin if desired. Pour about a cup of water into the bottom of the skillet and put the whole thing in the oven. Roast for 1 hour or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160º, adding more water as it evaporates.
Let chicken rest for ten minutes. Reduce the drippings in the pan until a runny sauce is formed. Skim off any excess grease. Slice the chicken and serve with the sauce. Eat and be happy!