Only four posts left in JJIJ, including today’s, so I’ve been trying to think of something that I haven’t covered in this month-long run of random ramblings.
So far, I’ve done writing, photography, animated gifs, music, nostalgia, self-publicity and romance, along with the usual directionless waffling, but one thing I’ve never featured on the blog is…
There’s no particular reason for this, especially since (even if I do say so myself, which I do) I’m a bloody good cook, but it just isn’t something that’s occurred to me to post about before, partly because there are so many fabulous foodie blogs out there and partly because I’m usually too busy telling you the sort of nonsense that leaks into (and back out of) my head on a daily basis.
It just so happens that, with our wedding anniversary yesterday, (incidentally, thanks for all the kind comments on that subject) I decided it would be a nice idea for me to cook the two of us a romantic candlelit dinner for when Rhonda returned from work; where she spent the evening cooking for other people at the local, award-winning fish and chip shop just down the road from where we live.
I should say that I’ve never followed a recipe in my life, I don’t even own a cookery book, I just make stuff up as I go along, (much like my method of writing) but it seems as if I have a talent for it and, since I also have a serious talent for eating, I take every opportunity to combine the two.
Unfortunately, the idea to post the recipe only occurred to me this morning and I neglected to take any photos last night; you’ll just have to take my word for the fact that it looked and tasted amazing.
So here is the very first dish from the Kitchen of an Internet Nobody:
Chicken with Parma ham in brie and tarragon sauce, with asparagus, mushrooms and leeks.
You will need:
2 chicken breasts
4 slices of Parma ham
6 – 8 asparagus spears
12 closed cup mushrooms
1 large leek
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
– Wrap the chicken breasts in the ham, overlapping the slices so the chicken is completely covered.
– Lay the wrapped chicken in a shallow glass dish, lightly brush with extra virgin olive oil and cover the dish in tinfoil.
– Place the dish in the oven (preheated to 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4) for 35 – 40 minutes.
While the chicken cooks, make the sauce;
– Melt around 100g of butter in a saucepan on a medium heat, then add one heaped tablespoon of flour and stir rapidly until the flour is absorbed, taking care not to burn the butter.
– Slowly add 150 – 200ml of milk and stir continuously as it thickens, to avoid the sauce becoming lumpy.
– Add the brie (to taste) in small pieces and stir until it has melted and the sauce is creamy and smooth.
– Stir in finely chopped tarragon and season with salt and pepper, then remove from heat.
– Roughly chop the leek, mushrooms and asparagus and soften by frying lightly in a little butter, along with the finely chopped garlic.
– Remove dish from the oven, evenly spread the vegetables around the wrapped chicken breasts, cover the whole thing in cheese sauce and sprinkle with paprika.
– Return to the oven without the foil covering, cook for a further 7 – 10 minutes and serve immediately.
(To drink: I’m no wine expert, but I’d suggest a well-chilled Pinot Grigio or a nice crisp and citrussy Cava)
And there you have it; dalecooper57’s dish of the day.
If any of you try it for yourselves, please let me know what you think.