Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Stuffed Up Chicken

I love a play on words, and blogs, like newspaper headlines are the perfect place to do this. When you read "stuffed up", you think, oh boy another failure at Homemade Heaven kitchen - but alas you'd be wrong - this chicken wasn't messed up, just stuffed full of yummy!

But before I get to that, I would like to talk economics... Homemade style.

The new buzz words worldwide are "credit crunch" and "recession". If you haven't heard either of these words, you're either too rich be effected or too poor to care.

A credit crunch is often caused by a sustained period of careless and inappropriate lending which results in losses for lending institutions and investors. Hence the fact that all the banks are in serious trouble.

Even if you don't feel the credit crunch, everyone is feeling the recession and the global food crisis. A simple trip to the supermarket will show the escalating food prices and how little your money can buy compared to last year (or in some cases last week).

I like to save money on little things and find that simple changes to my buying options can actually save me, leaving space in my wallet for that slab of imported chocolate.

One example of this is the humble chicken breast. If you buy the breast with the bone and skin you pay about R20* per kilo. Opting for the skinned and boned pack will knock you back upwards of R40* per kilo. Even taking the weight of the bones out of the equation, you are still saving at least 75%, and you can still use them for stock and soups. (** prices correct at going to press).

Nothing can be simpler than de-boning and skinning a chicken breast. Even those who are seriously pressed for time can spare an extra 5 minutes and save, all you need is a sharp knife and a pair of scissors. And if you think you can afford to spend the extra - why not save that money and donate it to a worthy cause (my retirement account number is available on request).

This simple Stuffed Up Chicken Breast is so easy to make and a real budget beater when you look at the cost of buying it ready made. The best part is you can customise it to suit your mood or your pocket, however large (or small) that might be.

Stuffed Up Chicken Breasts

De-boned and skinned Chicken breasts (one per serving)
Mozzarella Cheese cut in blocks about 1cm wide and 3.5cm long
Nomu Tomato and Chilli pesto (you can use any flavouring you like - a basil pesto would work very well too)
2 beaten eggs (this is enough for at least 4 breasts)
Flour for dusting
Breadcrumbs (homemade or shop bought)
Salt and pepper (or even a little chilli?)
Oil for frying
Tooth picks

Cut a small pocket in the thick side of the breast. Do not cut through the surface.
Fill with a little pesto and the cheese block.
Do not be tempted to over fill it, or the cheese will just cook out and burn.
Close the hole and secure with a toothpick.
Dust with flour.
Dip into the egg.
Dip in the bread crumbs and season.
Leave to rest if possible for about half an hour (this is not necessary, just preferable).
Warm a pan to medium heat, add a little oil and fry one side until golden brown.
Turn over and bake in a hot oven, about 200C for 10 - 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the breast).
Leave to rest for 5 minutes in a warm place, remove the toothpick and... SERVE!

My husband does not like cooked cheese, so I filled his with bottled jalapeƱos - and even this chicken hater pronounced it as "GREAT"!


Nina Timm said...

I agree wholeheartedly and I refuse to buy deboned and skinless. The bones as you say are full of flavor for soups. I love to get stuffed of stuffed chicken...'cuse the pun!!!

Kit said...

Is there always such a big price difference? I remember trying to work it out and factor in the bones once, and then my brain failed me on the Maths!

I do still by the boneless (skin on) breasts, but partly because I'm trying to use free-range chicken that Spar are at last stocking and thye don't seem to have it packaged with bones. There is only a small price difference between free-range and non-free-range, and I think it is worth it, just for the guarantee of antibiotic and hormone free meat. But I would buy it with bones if it was much cheaper and they sold it that way!

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

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