What’s cooking Thursday?

Things have been quiet on the blog this week, thanks to sleepless nights and grizzly children, which lead to an inability to write anything comprehendible. But today is Thursday, and it’s time t think about what I am cooking tonight. Usually I try to cook something that will also serve as leftovers for Saturday lunch. This weekend however, is full of birthday parties, so Saturday lunch and dinner are taken care of. Woot woot!

Last night, I had a bit of a disaster in the kitchen. Hubby texted me late afternoon to say that he didn’t get time to stop for lunch, he was starving, and what was for dinner? My response was, brown rice arancini balls with roast veg and guacamole (plus we always make a salad). He replied, nice. Great, so I was happy that he wasn’t put off with the idea of dinner, I hadn’t really prepped it yet because I had run out of brown rice, so had to wait for Miss O to wake before I could pop up to the supermarket and grab some.

Once home, it all started quite well. I put the brown rice on to cook, vegetables in the oven to roast and then got started on the guacamole. Ummm, no avocados. Ok, send text to hubby, if you’re desperate for guacamole, please pick up a couple of avocados on your way home.

I grated some parmesan, chopped some fresh herbs, it smelt wonderful. Checked the roast veg, they seemed to be going slow. Mixed the cheese and herbs through the rice, added an egg and some sesame seeds. Plopped balls of rice onto baking tray because I hate frying, and baked these beautiful rice balls.

brown rice arancini balls They look good don’t they? I was lulled into a false sense of security…

A while later, I checked the oven, balls looked done but those roast veggies were taking so long! I cranked the oven up to get them going. I tasted the arancini type balls. They were hard and tasteless. Kids were getting cranky because dinner was taking too long and everyone was hungry. In the end, we ate the rice rocks, together with cooked, but not lovely caramelized roast vegetables, they kind of looked like boiled veg a bit. Without the guacamole. It was a very uninspiring dinner. So tonight, I am cooking something that will hopefully make up for last night’s dinner!

Many years ago, I was lucky enough to go into Melbourne RACV club with a friend, to see chef, Manu Feildel. He showed us how to cook a meal and then we were served this as a lunch. I cooked the meal not long after this but haven’t cooked it since then. I can’t find the original recipe, so today, I am winging it.

For us, as a family of 6, I bought 4 chicken breast fillets, which I asked my butcher to cut in half so that I had 8 thin pieces of chicken. Then I bought 4 thigh fillets also.

I sautéed garlic and onion in a knob of butter, then threw in some chopped mushrooms and zucchini, and sage season lightly at this point. Once these were all cooked (not too brown though) I set the pan aside to cool slightly.

I laid a couple of pieces of cling wrap on my bench, and put the chicken breast fillets down, without overlapping. Then on top I lay 5 pieces of short cut bacon.

In my food processor I put the chicken thigh fillets, with 1 egg, and a heaped dessert spoon of flaxseed meal. I pulsed this to get the chicken chopped and the egg mixed through then added the slightly cooled vegetable mixture and pulsed again. I intended to add some almond flakes (or you could add pine nuts) for some crunchy texture but I forgot :/ It would have been lovely though!

Anyway, pile this on top of the chicken and bacon in a log shape and using the cling wrap, roll it into a log, with the breast fillets wrapping completely around the outside. I then put the chicken roll on a tray and put it in the fridge to cool and set slightly, before I brown the outside and bake it in the oven.

chicken roll1 Here you can see the layers, thin breast fillets, bacon, thigh fillet minced with vegetables

From memory, Manu put the chicken wrapped in plastic in a pot of boiling water. This cooks the chicken through and then you can brown it. I’m not doing that because, a) cooking food in plastic freaks me out (I don’t do silicon bakeware either and I don’t microwave- when I had one- in plastic) and b) it’s Thursday, and that all seemed like too much effort. So I’m hoping that this will work out anyway. I can’t remember how it turned out last time I made it…

chicken roll2All rolled up, ready for cooking later! Hoping it turns out!

All going well, I’ll update this post with a photo of the cooked dinner, fingers crossed!

I intend to serve it sliced up, with some steamed broccoli (with a lemon, garlic, olive oil dressing), some cooked silverbeet (olive oil, lemon, salt dressing) and a fennel salad. Bizarrely, my kids will eat these vegetables!

UPDATE: This is the roll cooked. This is half of it, because it was too big to flip when I browned it, so had to cut it in half. It was delicious, and after last night’s dinner, it was certainly appreciated lol!


chicken rolls3

What are you serving up for dinner tonight? Do you plan to have leftovers for another night?

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