This makes an elegant main course, with the pearly white of the chicken, contrasted against the rich darkness of the mushrooms. It is both filling and nourishing, and especially tasty if you use shiitake mushrooms.
2 chicken breasts, with fillets, skin on
200g (7oz) mushrooms, finely sliced
a bunch chives or parsley, finely chopped (optional)
butter papers, or well buttered baking parchment
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180ºC, set to Convection, rack position B.
Remove the fillet pieces from the chicken breasts. Slit open each breast and reach horizontally deep inside the thickest part with the point of a knife to create a pocket, but not cutting all the way through. Season all over with salt and pepper.
Heat some oil and lightly fry the mushrooms. Drain. Fill the chicken breasts with most of the mushrooms, leaving the remainder in the pan.
Flatten the little fillet pieces by bashing them with a saucepan between two layers of clingfilm. Lay each fillet over the opening of the chicken breast pockets, where they will form a seal. Heat some oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken, skin-side down, for a few minutes.
Transfer to the oven tray, cover with butter papers or foil and cook in the oven for 12 minutes. Test for doneness by gently
cutting into the thickest part of a piece of chicken with a sharp knife. If there is any sign of pinkness it is not cooked; return
to the oven for a further 5 minutes and test again. When ready, put the grilling tray on top of the oven and put the tray of
cooked chicken on top to rest and keep warm while you prepare to serve.
Slice the chicken breasts at an angle, with a long thin sharp knife, using a minimum of pressure, but lots of slicing movement with your elbow.
Serve garnished with the remaining mushrooms (reheated) and sprinkle over some chives or parsley.
Note: any stuffing can be used as long as it is cooked, flavoursome, and nicely seasoned. If stuffing the breasts in advance to cook later, make sure the stuffing is cold before putting it inside the chicken breasts.
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