Chicken and Vegetable Pockets

Chicken breast fillets can be moist and delicious if they are given loving care when cooked. In this recipe a delicious vegetable filling makes these little pockets of chicken the centre of attention, tender and tasty with the jus from the long, slow cooking.

A mix of small broccoli and cauliflower florets, capsicum, green beans, tender young chard, onion, garlic and herbs form the flavour base of this dish.

A little preparation and slowly cooked the chicken pockets become a flavourful delight.

The chicken and vegetable pockets can be made ahead and can be heated when needed. This allows the flavours to develop even more.

Chicken and Vegetable Pockets

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breast fillets ( half or one per person depending on size)
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 Sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig of fresh Thyme
  • 1 sage leaf, chopped
  • 3-4 small chard or young silverbeet leaves
  • 1/4 Red capsicum, chopped
  • 1/4 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup cauliflower florets
  • 6 Green beans, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • McCormick’s Chicken Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Olive oil
  • 1 knob of butter

(the ingredients listed will make the stuffing for 2 pockets of a medium breast fillet for 2 people. Adjust the quantity for the number of pockets you are making)

Method:

  1. Prepare stuffing by cutting the florets of broccoli, cauliflower and capsicum into small pieces

2. Steam the vegetables for 5 minutes

3. Blanch the chard leaves for 2 minutes in boiling water, drain and chop into pieces and add to mix

4. Chop onion finely

5. To a heavy based saucepan add two tablespoons of olive oil and a small knob of butter over a medium-low heat.

6. When the butter foams, add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is transparent. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

7. Add the mixed vegetables, chopped herbs, to the onions in the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes, adding a drop of hot water from time to time if the mix catches.

8. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and a good sprinkle of Chicken Seasoning. Then set aside to cool.

9. Dry the chicken breast fillets with kitchen paper and cut in half across the middle

10. Using a sharp knife cut a slit into the chicken breast fillet being careful not to pierce the outside of the fillet.

11. Stand the pockets on end and gently stretch out the pocket then spoon the cooled filling into each pocket pressing it deep into the centre

13. Gently put the two halves together and join the halves with toothpicks all around the edge.

14. Use twine to secure the toothpicks

15. Using a heavy based saucepan, add 1/4 cup of olive oil and knob of butter over a medium-high heat and add the chicken fillet

16. Carefully brown the breast fillet on both sides, sprinkling liberally with Chicken Seasoning, freshly ground pepper and salt and chopped rosemary and sage

17. When well browned add the dry wine, bringing to the boil.

18. Then lower to a low simmer, cover and cook slowly for 50 minutes adding a little hot water from time to time if the liquid drys

19. When the liquid is clear and the chicken fillet tender set aside for 5 minutes to rest.

20 when ready to serve, carefully remove the toothpicks and twine and using a sharp knife divide the two pockets

21. Pour some of the jus from cooking over each pocket

22. Serve with mashed potatoes, or polenta and your favourite vegetables.

Note:

Any pleasing combination of vegetables that you may have on hand could be used for the filling mix including peas, mushroom, leeks and other seasonal vegetables you may prefer

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