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Monday, 26 January 2015

Don't Say Never Trust A Skinny Cook: Spanish Chicken

How are you all? University classes start up again for me today, and I'm really excited about my modules this semester. One module is called Identity and Power and is about French colonialism, another is named Culture and Conflict, covering first world war poetry, a book by Georges Perec about WW2 and then the war in Algeria makes up the third conflict that we study - it will be really interesting to learn about the world wars from a French perspective as up until now I have only studied in as part of the English GCSE and A level curriculum. My final module (ignoring the compulsory grammar one) is about careers and business management, which will hopefully be interesting and useful in the "real world"! As such meals are being planned in advance again, so there should be no shortage of interesting recipes for the blog, like this one that I'm sharing with you today. My current plan for meals next week involve a "light" katsu curry (see next Monday's Don't Say Never Trust A Skinny Cook), a lentil dish and the old favourite (with a homemade paste), thai green curry.

This recipe came from BBC Good Food magazine but has required a lot of changing as even doubling (by accident) their marinade for the potatoes didn't infuse them with a paprika taste, so I'm trebling it and adding extra paprika. The magazine suggested serving this with a mixed leaf salad, but I chose to cook peas for us instead. You can use whichever green veg you'd like to eat this evening. It was a little messy to cook as the filling for the chicken didn't like to stay where I wanted it to! However, it's all very easy to wash up as the chicken is cooked en papillote (AKA wrapped in tin foil) with it opened up for the last five minutes to get a nice colour on the chicken. I would also suggest you cook the potatoes with baking paper or a silicone mat in your roasting dish as the paprika can be tenacious.

Spanish Chicken Recipe
Serves 2
Oven at 180˚ fan
Total time to make the meal is about 50 minutes but you'll only need to be in the kitchen for 20 minutes or so

2 large baking potatoes, I used maris pipers but any should do
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
3tbsp olive oil
3½tbsp paprika
2 chicken breasts
3tsp cream cheese, my choice was Philadelphia lightest cream cheese but you can use full fat or any that you'd like.
3 individual piquante peppers (the little jars of peppers in oil)
10 small slices of chorizo (enough to make a line down each chicken breast)

Peel and dice the potatoes into cubes and place in a lined roasting tin.
Mix together in a small bowl the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, paprika and a generous pinch of salt.
Pour the marinade over the potatoes and use your hands to coat the potatoes well - it will get messy!
Place the potatoes in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the chicken.
Finely dice the peppers and mix them in a small bowl with the cream cheese.
Prepare two squares of tin foil large enough to wrap a chicken breast in each.
Take each chicken breast and cut either lengthwise to create a pouch or insert the knife at the top of the breast and wriggle it downwards to make a pouch that way.
Spoon as much of the cream cheese mix as you can into the pockets created in the chicken , don't worry if it overflows. Place one on each bit of foil.
Lay the chorizo over each chicken breast and then fold up the tin foil so all is secure. Place on a tray.
Once the potatoes have cooked for 15 minutes, add the tray with the chicken parcels to the oven and cook them both for a further 30 minutes, opening up the foil parcels 5 minutes before the end to allow the chorizo to crisp a little and the chicken to get some colour.
Cook your vegetables so that they're ready at the same time as the potatoes and chicken.
Serve and enjoy!

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I love to cook and this blog follows my successes (and a few failures) in the kitchen. If you enjoy my posts, or think there is a problem with a recipe then please let me know