17 May 2013

Truffle-stuffed Chicken and Lemon Asparagus


Imagine a tender chicken breast, wrapped in Canadian prosciutto. Now imagine you cutting into that chicken, and having a warm and gooey truffle-mushroom and mozzarella center oozing out, scenting the air with the deep and pungent aroma of truffles. With each bite the saltiness of the prosciutto, the tenderness of the chicken, and the richness of the truffle and cheese all mix together in your mouth to form what can only be described as... "mmm!"

It is nestled into a bed of red quinoa, which adds a nutty flavour and a beautiful texture in contrast with the chicken. And beside, although not at all apart, you have perfectly cooked asparagus bought from your farmers' market. Tossed in a beautifully balanced lemon-flavoured olive oil, fresh lemon peel, and a crack of salt and pepper for fresh simplicity. And with each bite, the quinoa absorbs the leftover lemon oil and the juices from the chicken, mixing all together deliciously...

Sounds like a perfect dinner, no?


This recipe is by far one of my top 10 creations. It is rich, flavourful, various in textures, and above all: memorably delicious. I ate it for two dinners in a row, and still wanted more. Yes, perhaps this seems too rich for a week-night dinner, but who says there has to be rules about that sort of thing, anyway?



This is a recipe that tastes like you spent hours and hours in the kitchen... but it hardly took you that long at all.


Look at that delicious filling, oozing out the edges!


Truffle-stuffed Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:

- 2 chicken breasts (around 350g)
- 4 strips of Canadian prosciutto
- 4 tbsp Favuzzi's mushroom-truffle puree (see below!)*
- 4 oz mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place your chicken breasts into a strong zip-lock plastic bag, and using either a meat pounder or a rolling pin (or anything else you can whack), flatten your chicken breasts until they are about a half inch thick or less. Usually, it will spread out about 40% bigger.
3. Lay down two pieces of prosciutto side by side (long side touching), and place the chicken at one end. Spread the mushroom-truffle puree on top of the chicken, and top that with the mozzarella.
4. Roll up everything together (don`t worry too much if it oozes out a bit, just tuck it back in with your fingers), and tuck the end of the prosciutto underneath the chicken breast to hold it closed.
5. Once both breasts are prepared, place them on your parchment-lined baking sheet, and cook for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve immediately for best results!

Best accompanied with quinoa and lemon asparagus (recipe below!)

This recipe could easily serve 4 people, unless you're two very hungry people.
This recipe can also be doubled/tripled very easily.


* This is the wondrous product that I used to stuff the chicken breasts. It is a puree of various mushrooms, with a generous douse of truffles... delicious! If you like truffles, then you will love this spread. You can use it on pizzas, pastas, or simply on toasted baguette. I can't wait to see what other things I can do with it!
The flavour really softened when I baked it within the chicken, so it didn't overpower the dish. If you want a stronger truffle taste, I would recommend adding it to your chicken or other dish after cooking. I'm definitely going to toss this with pasta for tonight's dinner!



Lemon-scented Asparagus

Ingredients:

- 1 bunch of fresh asparagus (local if you can!)
- 2 tbsp lemon scented olive oil, like the Olive Oil brand described below*
- 2 tsp lemon peel strips (I used a knife to peel off a layer of the peel, avoiding the white pith, and then sliced it very thinly)
- salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Wash the asparagus, and remove the tough ends (about 2 inches off the bottom)
2. Toss the asparagus with the oil, and distribute them in a 13x9 inch pan, trying to not overlap them too much. Season with salt and pepper, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a fork inserted can shake off the asparagus easily (I prefer it still slightly crunchy, but if you like your asparagus well cooked, feel free to cook it longer!).
3. Plate your asparagus, and then sprinkle with your lemon peel strips. Enjoy!


* I personally prefer this meyer lemon olive oil (pictured) by Olive Oil (appropriate brand name, right?). Unlike other 'infused' olive oils that barely smell like their infused flavour, this olive oil has a beautiful lemony finish. This is because the olives are actually pressed with lemons (whereas other infused oils simply allow lemon peel to ferment within the oil). This makes the lemon flavour is more prominent. I also found that, with cooking, the lemon scent didn't evaporate as much! It remained as a very soft, delicate finish to the fresh local asparagus that is popping up everywhere in our farmers' markets.




The products described in this post were provided by Favuzzi, and they can be found in fine food stores across Canada. Check out their website to find the one closest to you!:






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