Saturday, 23 February 2013

A simple supper...

A couple of weeks ago a friend came round for dinner and a catch up. No pictures as it seemed a bit rude to be taking pictures of the food whilst cooking and generally having a good chinwag. The meal was delicious though (even if I do say so myself) and on that basis I will at least talk about the meal.

I wanted to do something which I could prepare while waiting for my friend to arrive and which would then be quick and easy to make whilst being sociable and starting on the wine.  

A leaf through the recipe books for some ideas and I came up with this:
Chicken and Mozzarella wrapped in Parma Ham, mashed potato and a Tarragon Beurre Blanc.

Mashed potato: take some nice floury potatoes (not waxy ones). Cut up into small pieces and place in a pan of water. Add some salt and bring to the boil. Then allow to simmer until the potatoes are just starting to break up. At this point, drain the water and add a a splash of milk, small knob of butter and some pepper and then mash it all together with your weapon of choice. I tend to use a fork if the potatoes are soft enough as, frankly, a proper masher is a pain to clean afterwards. Just make sure you’ve got rid of the lumps!

The main part of the meal is simplicity itself - take a chicken breast, put some generous slices of mozzarella on top and wrap the lot up with some Parma ham. Put this onto a baking tray and cook in the oven for 25 minutes (200C).

Tarragon Beurre Blanc sauce - finely chop 2 challots and place in a saucepan with 4 tablespoons of vermouth (or dry white wine) and 2½ tablespoons white wine vinegar. Bring the liquid to the boil and keep boiling and stirring until the liquid has almost gone. At this point turn the heat right down and then take 250g of cold butter and add it a chunk at a time. Put each chunk of butter into the pan and keep whisking. Add the next chunk just before the previous one has completely melted. The idea is to create an emulsion of butter and the remaining liquid. When all the butter is incorporated sieve out the challots and add 1-2 tablespoons of chopped tarragon. Be careful with the temperature as too cold and the butter won’t melt, too hot and the butter will separate (cool it down with an ice cube).

Place the mash and chicken on the plate and pour the sauce over the top. Thoroughly enjoyed by the pair of us with a good dry Muscat.


  1. Sounds delicious! I used to make something similar a lot - chicken stuffed with bousin wrapped in ham cooked in a red wine sauce. I haven't made it in ages - I might have to give your recipe a go too.

    1. It was delicious - ask Sarah though if you want a more independent review!

      The sauce isn't exactly compatible with a diet however - 99.9% butter! That said, it tasted really quite light and not greasy.