Monday, March 29, 2010

Garlic Chicken Roll

This is Dinner Almost Impossible dish for March: Chicken breast stuffed with herb soaked garlic, fresh basil, parsley, oregano, harissa sauce, baharat spice. This chicken is pan seared and then steam baked. The dish comes with two sauces: sweet corn pepper pureƩ and mustard wasabi sauce. The two sauces are suppose to be eaten together.

My guests had difficulty believing this dish had no cream or butter. I used lean chicken breast and grape seed oil. The pan-seared-steam-baking ensures nice crust and maximum moisture inside the chicken. Everything else is just calorie-less spices and herbs. Every ingredient were natural or organic. It is also easy to put together and can be prepared in advance. The chicken can be eaten without the sauce, but the mustard sauce really enhances the dish.

My butchers at Market Meat taught me how to properly butterfly chickens to ensure the chicken is tender but not too soggy. I will spent a whole post on butterflying techniques later, but Market Meat would be more than happy to butterfly meat for their customers. The olive oil mix left over from this recipe can be used for other dishes or salad dressing.

Ingredient: (serves 2)
  • 1 whole boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • 2 bulbs of garlic (peeled)
  • 1 spring of rosemary
  • 2 springs of thyme
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 4 leaves of fresh basil (or 2 tsp of dried basil)
  • 4 springs of fresh oregano (or 1 tsp of dried oregano)
  • 2 springs of fresh parsley (or 1 tsp of dried parsley)
  • 2 tsp harissa sauce
  • 1 tsp baharat spice
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 Tbsp Mustard or Wasabi Mustard (you can buy it at 7 seas or Whole Foods)
  • ½ cup White Wine
  • ½ cup Vegetable or chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper

Instruction: Preheat oven to 375˚F

1. In a sauce pot or small pan, heat olive oil, garlic, rosemary and thyme at simmer to low heat for 20 minutes or until the garlic is slightly brown (the longer it takes the better).
2. Meanwhile, chop parsley, basil, and oregano. Then cut the whole chicken breast in two pieces and butterfly each. Salt and pepper both side of the chicken.
3. Spread harissa sauce on one side of the chicken and then sprinkle on baharat spice.

If you are quick and still waiting for your garlic to cook. Prepare parchment paper for steam baking. If you don't have parchment paper, line a baking pan with aluminum foil. The paper or foil has to be big enough to create a steam pouch for the chicken later.

4. Once the garlic is ready (aromatic and slightly brown outside). With a slotted spoon or chopstick, remove the garlic from the oil. Alternatively, you can use a strainer to extract the garlic. Place the garlic on a piece of paper towel to soak the left over oil.
5. Line the garlic horizontally ½ inch away from the narrower edge of the chicken. Line the chopped herbs on top or beside it. Use a pairing or butter knife, hold the garlic in line and fold the chicken over and make a roll.
6. Heat vegetable oil in a non-stick pan to medium-high heat. Sear the chicken roll up on all sides, before placing in steam pouch.
7. Fold up the steam pouch and bake it for 15-20 minute or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160˚F.
8. In the mean time, add mustard, wine wine, chicken broth, unused garlic to the pan that was used to sear the chicken. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to about ¼ of the original amount.

If you are preparing this in advance, you can wrap the raw chicken roll in cling film and store it in the fridge overnight.

For wine pairing, an unoaked fuller body white wine with really ripe juicy fruit would be the ideal. Wine such as New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or Australian Chardonnay would be good. If you are daring, try reds such as Beaujolais or Chiliean Merlot.

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