As an ex-vegetarian, getting down and dirty with raw chicken isn’t my idea of a good time.
However I do see the necessity of it in a dish like this. Butterflying chicken may be gruesome but it’s also an excellent way of smuggling all sorts of things into your bird.
In this instance, I’ve gone for a mushroom and parmesan filling. Parmesan because it’s a subtle, salty cheese that doesn’t overwhelm the meat and mushroom…well…just cos.
Once you get the technique down, you can start shoving all kinds of things in that chicken’s fleshy pouch (sorry, sometimes I just don’t know when to stop).
Parmesan and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breast (serves two)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1/4 medium-sized red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tbsps butter
- Fry the mushrooms, onion and garlic in butter until the mushrooms are browned and soft (about five minutes). Transfer the mix to a bowl and stir in the parmesan, let cool for a few minutes while you take care of the chicken.
- Carefully slice through the middle of the chicken to create a flap.
- Open up the folds you’ve created so the chicken is now spreadeagled in a very undignified fashion.
- Place the unfolded chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap. Beat the living hell out of them. Nah, I’m kidding but do pound the chicken firmly with a heavy implement (I used a large, flat serving spoon).
- Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap. Take a generous spoonful of the mushroom mixture and place it along the ‘fold’ in the centre of the chicken.
- Roll the side of the breast up and over the filling so the flap seals in the mixture and place the entire thing on a lined or greased baking tray.
- Brush with melted butter, ghee or olive oil and sprinkle some black pepper and rosemary over the chicken breasts.
- Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes, removing the cover for the last ten minutes so the top can brown.
And in case my detailed description of how to butterfly a chicken breast wasn’t enough, here’s a handy video tutorial where she describes it as opening the meat “like a book”