Well well well, I have now completed TWO of the baking challenges that ABC (A Becky C) has set for me this year!
This one satisfies the criteria ‘something savoury that isn’t a pie’, and it is a mix of two recipes introduced to me during my student days by two different women.
One of these women is a fine lady that I met as a student in London, who basically adopted every single person who didn’t have a home and family to escape to every weekend. Every Sunday afternoon, she would invite starving stragglers like myself to her home for lunch where she would serve us all a delicious meal of baked chicken parcels, piping hot from the oven, whilst her husband entertained us with snippets of The Goon Show. She never knew how many people would be gracing her home during Sunday afternoons, but somehow there was always more than enough to go round.
The other woman is a girl that I knew from school who was studying in Germany and also met a fine lady over there who also adopted all poor and starving International students and served them baked stuffed chicken for Sunday Lunch. My friend visited me in London one time and made the dish for me.
I’ve now come to associate baked chicken with hospitality and kindness, and I’ve taken the liberty of combining the two recipes together, which I think works pretty well! I have also included additional Thermomix instructions at the end of the recipe for those of you who own magic stirring pots. In honour of the two women who opened their homes and hearts to strangers on Sunday afternoons, I am calling this dish, “Mary-Full-Of-Grace Chicken”.
Mary-Full-Of-Grace Chicken Recipe
- 6 Skinless chicken breast fillets
- 12-15 Bacon strips (I used back bacon, but streaky bacon probably works better)
- 150g-200g Cream cheese with herbs (I used one that had garlic and chives in it but you can use Boursin or make your own)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- (Optional) Toothpicks
- Preheat oven to 200°C and use some olive oil to grease a baking pan or sheet
- Using a sharp knife, butterfly each chicken breast by slicing it carefully down the centre but not all the way through. Alternatively, you can use a rolling pin to flatten each chicken breast to a 1/2 inch thickness.
- Spread 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese in the centre of the chicken breast.
- Roll the chicken breast up to completely cover the cream cheese
- Wrap the rolled up chicken breast with 2-3 strips of bacon
- (Optional) Use a toothpick to keep the bacon in place
- Place the chicken seam-side down onto the baking pan
- Drizzle over with olive oil
- Bake uncovered at 200°C for 30-40 minutes until juices run clear
- Broil under the grill for 5 minutes to make the bacon nice and crisp
(note: If you want to be indulgent, use butter instead of olive oil)
Extra Thermomix instructions for cream cheese and herbs:
- Put 1 clove of peeled garlic and 1-2 chives or spring onion in the Thermomix, then blend for 5 seconds at speed 7
- Scrape down then add 200-250g of cream cheese and blend for 20 seconds on speed 4