August 31, 2015

Prepared and non planned impromptu dinner (mascarpone stuffed chicken with pan sauce and poor man's macque choux)

My sweet friend and her boyfriend wanted to take me out on the town Friday night so before we did that, I had them over for dinner. I made tiramisu for my ladies night a few weeks ago and had some leftover mascarpone cheese in the fridge that was set to expire.  I hate wasting food so I was determined to find something to do with it. I have a freezer full of boneless skinless chicken thighs so I decided to stuff them.  I found this recipe  and decided to make a version of it. I had corn and tomatoes leftover from the lunch recipe I hadn't made the week before so I decided to make what I like to call poor man's macque choux.   It did not disappoint!  Full recipe after the step by step.

The cast, corn, basil and rosemary from my herb garden, onion, spinach, cherry tomatoes, chicken broth, dijon mustard, chicken thighs, garlic,jalapeno and mascarpone cheese. Not shown, breadcrumbs, decided on those later.
Finely chop herbs and add to mascarpone cheese, season with salt and pepper.
I had about a 1/4 cup of homemade breadcrumbs in my freezer so I mixed that with a 1/4 cup flour to dredge the chicken. 
Pound that chicken into submission! 
Spread a layer of mascarpone mixture on your chicken with a few pieces of spinach.
Roll it up and tie with string.  Or secure with toothpicks (reminds self to purchase some!) 
beauties!
Dredge them in the flour mixture (you can dip in an egg wash as well if you like) and place in preheated pan with melted fat.  I used bacon grease because I was feeling gluttonous.
Flip them halfway through  so you can brown on all sides. 
If I had a normal size oven I would have stuck the pan in there but at least I can use non stick foil so there aren't more dishes to wash!
Add chopped onion and garlic to your pan drippings to start a sauce.
Meanwhile chop your veggies
Add chicken stock and mustard to pan and cook over low to medium heat until thick.  Like 10 minutes, stir often.
Saute your veggies until they look nice and browned.  Make sure you season with salt and pepper. 
Serve your chicken with some sauce on top with some veggies.  Delish!
I need to have guests over more often, they did the dishes for me!
Chicken with herby mascarpone stuffing: 

Boneless skinless Chicken breasts or thighs, one breast or two thighs per person
1/2 container mascarpone cheese
handful of basil and rosemary chopped finely
spinach
1/2 cup flour
1/cup seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375.  Pound your chicken thin.  Mix mascarpone and chopped herbs together well in a small bowl.  Spread about a tablespoon of the mixture on the chicken.  Place a few spinach leaves on top the cheese.  Roll up to cover the filling and secure with string or toothpicks. Continue for all pieces of chicken. Mix flour and bread crumbs in a bowl.  Dip each chicken bundle in the flour mixture to coat.  Season the bundles with salt and pepper.  Add to a heated pan with melted fat (olive oil, bacon grease, butter whatever you feel) an brown on both sides, about 3 minutes a side.  Transfer to a foiled baking sheet and place in preheated oven and cook chicken for 10 more minutes or until cooked through.

Pan Sauce:
Drippings from chicken browning pan
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp. dijon mustard

Add onion and garlic to drippings and cook for 5 minutes, stirring repeatedly.  Add more fat if there isn't enough.  Add chicken broth and mustard to the pan and stir well.  Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.  Salt and pepper to taste. serve over the chicken.

Poor Man's Macque Choux:

2 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half
one jalapeno, most of the seeds removed, diced 
one onion, diced (I just used the rest of the onion that I used for the pan sauce)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. bacon grease (or cook two pieces of bacon, use the drippings and cut up the bacon to add)

Heat grease in a cast iron skillet.  Add you veggies and saute  for 10-15 minutes or until desired doneness.  Season with salt and pepper.

I love entertaining and don't exactly have the space for it anymore, but if I can make a fancy meal like this in my shitty kitchen, why not entertain in it!

Happy cooking!

Missy



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