Thursday, June 12, 2008
Vine leaves stuffed with chicken and herbed goat cheese!
Yesterday was the first day since the girls finished school for the year that we didn't have a thousand things to do and I was actually able to make a meal for us. That is not to say that I still didn't face several challenges while doing this...dogs needing to go out, kids fighting in the pool, lawn guy asking me stupid questions, phone calls and the list goes on and on!!!
I had seen this recipe a week or so ago on Val's blog - More Than Burnt Toast and I knew that I could alter it to suit my tomato hater!
Here is Val's recipe as written. I have put my changes in italics in bold.
**Barbequed Chicken with Vine Leaves & Goat Cheese**
4 chicken legs or boneless, skinless breasts, without the bones (I used thighs)
200 g goat cheese
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1- 2 tsp lemon zest
1 T snipped chives (I had no chives)
1 tsp finely chopped sun dried tomatoes (I used fresh chopped basil as we have a tomato hater)
20 vine leaves (canned in brine)
400 g tomatoes concassees (chopped or crushed)- concassees is seedless, skinless chopped tomatoes (see below for the sauce that I used)
¼ cup olive oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp sugar
In a small bowl combine goat cheese. lemon juice, lemon zest, snipped chives and sun dried tomatoes.
Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the chicken fillets in half but not cutting all the way through to form a pocket for the goat cheese filling. Lay four or five vine leaves (depending on their size)overlapping on a piece of aluminum foil to create a large square and lay one of the chicken fillets on top of the leaves. Add the goat cheese filling divided into 4 equal portions inside the pocket of the chicken breast. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and proceed to wrap the grape leaves around the chicken breast like an envelope. Then tightly wrap the aluminum foil around the fillet, giving it a candy like shape like a tamale or if you are British like a Christmas cracker.
Repeat the process with the rest of the chicken fillets. If the vine leaves you are using are preserved in brine, avoid adding extra salt to the chicken. The salt from the brine will be more than adequate and it will taste better this way.
Preheat barbecue to 350 F. Place foil-wrapped chicken in barbecue. Cook for 15 minutes, flip chicken and cook for another 10. Let rest for 5 -10 minutes. Carefully remove foil by cutting foil twists off end and exposing grape leaf wrapped chicken.
Meanwhile: To prepare the sauce add the crushed tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar and oregano in a pot and allow it to cook for 20 minutes once it comes to a boil.
*****Because of my tomato hater I decided to make a lemon cream sauce to go on top:
Lemon Cream Sauce
zest of one orange
zest of one lemon
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp olive oil
juice of one lemon
1/4 C heavy cream
Combine zest and garlic in a skillet. Heat until aromatic and the flour and oil and cook the flour until just browning and add the lemon. Finish it with the heavy cream.
This was an incredible meal that everyone liked. The grape leaves added a wonderful, briny flavor to the chicken. One of the best new things I have tried!!! Thanks Val!