Family Dinners #2 – Cheese and Ham stuffed Chicken Breasts

Another family dinner favourite! As I type, our 6-year-old is on my lap eagerly asking ” OOhhh we love those! Can we have them for dinner?!”

I make these rolls with either turkey or chicken breast and as a meal it is quite economical seeing that you want the meat cut ever so thinly in order to be able to roll it. A pack of 400-500g of meat therefore feeds all five of us, and all three children are good eaters!

Serve the meat with hand cut chips, feta cheese and tomato cous cous, lots of greens (pak choi is a grown up household favourite and the children like broccoli, corn) or a big plate of fresh peppers/cucumber/carrots with hummus.

The meat cooks in the oven, no frying involved, and because of the ham and cheese it is ever so tender when ready, not to mention full of flavour. The bread crumbs add a nice crisp to each bite but is not necessary.

Cheese and Ham Stuffed Chicken Breasts

500g chicken breast (will make about 8-10 rolls)
2 pieces of sliced bread – to make bread crumbs (you can buy these if you want of course)
A few tablespoons of olive oil
A few fresh basil leaves per meat roll
2 slices of cheese per meat roll
1 slice of ham per meat roll
 
  • Pre-heat your oven to 200C
  • Place the slices of bread in the oven as it heats up – keep an eye on them as you want them very crisp but not burnt!
  • On a cutting board, and with a very sharp knife, slice the chicken breast pieces in half. Ideally you want each piece to be no thicker than 1cm.
  • On each slice of meat, lay a slice of ham and cheese as well as some basil leaves (to make some of them more “grown up” you can spice them up with some fresh chilli or spread a layer of pesto on the inside)
  • Roll the meat up – no need to fasten them but if you want you can put a tooth pick at each end to ensure they remain shut
  • Your bread pieces will now be crisp – place them in a food processor and blend them on high speed for a few seconds – add salt and pepper and spread the bread crumbs out evenly on a large, flat plate
  • Coat each chicken roll with olive oil (easiest done by putting oil in a plate and rolling the chicken in it)
  • Then transfer the chicken rolls to the breadcrumbs and coat evenly with these.
  • Lay the finished rolls on a lined baking tray and cook in the oven for 25 minutes
  • The cheese will be runny and the bread crumbs crisp – so nice!

Chocolate Chicken Casserole

If you are a coq-au-vin fan you will love this! The chicken comes out incredibly tender and the dish has a deep, rich flavour. Be careful how you present it to your children though…I think mine thought they were being served a piece of chicken with chocolate on the side….there was great disappointment!!!  🙂

2 tbsp dark chocolate (70% cocoa content) – finely chopped
1 chicken in pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium-sized onions
2 cloves of garlic
3 rashes of streaky bacon
3 large carrots
Some sprigs of thyme
A few bay leaves
250ml red wine
250ml water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp corn flour and a bit of water to thicken
  • In an oven proof casserole dish, heat 1 tbsp oil and fry onion, garlic and bacon for a few minutes
  • In a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and brown the chicken pieces
  • Add chicken and rest of ingredients to casserole dish and bring to light simmer

  • Put a lid on and place in oven – 150C – for 2 hours
  • Once cooked, remove from oven and place chicken pieces on a separate plate
  • Season and thicken sauce by mixing corn flour with water in a cup and stirring into casserole
  • Replace chicken pieces.
  • Serve with brown rice, vegetables or potatoes

 

Lemon, Honey and Garlic Roast Chicken

Full of flavour and really crisp – perfect Sunday meal or playdate food – thrown in the oven and spend time with your family while it cooks!

1 whole chicken
4 jacket potatoes choped into 8 pieces each
2 lemons
Lots of garlic cloves – to taste of course
Fresh rosemary
Runny Honey
Sea Salt/Pepper to taste
  • Take your chicken and rub it with lots of salt and pepper. Leave it for an hour or so in the fridge.
  • Preheat oven to 190C
  • Chop the potatoes and place in a pot of cold, salted water – bring to boil and drain once boiling. Let them steam dry for a few minutes then shake around in pot to make slightly fluffy…adds to crispiness!
  • Get your chicken and shake off excess salt. Place it in a roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil and honey. Rub this into it. Sticky job! Let the children do it!
  • Place a whole lemon and some garlic cloves inside the cavity of the chicken.
  • Put it in the oven and cook for 40 minutes
  • Take out chicken and add potatoes to the dish – any liquids from the chicken are great for basting it with as well as coating the potatoes with!
  • Sprinkle rosemary onto chicken and potatoes
  • Place remaining garlic cloves in between potatoes
  • Cut the remaining lemon into small quarters and place into the tin
  • You can add a splash of white wine to the tin also – not necessary though!
  • Put everything back into the oven and cook until chicken is done – usually another 40- 50 minutes depending on size
  • Meat should pull away from chicken easily and juices run clear if stabbed
  • Enjoy! I love to eat the roasted garlic with the chicken as it has a lovely sweet flavour when warm. It is gorgeous on fresh bread…yummmmmyyy!