17 April 2011

Chicken Rolls with Oka and Thyme with Wild Rice and Spring Mushroom Risotto

Chicken Rolls with Oka and Thyme with Wild Rice and Spring Mushroom Risotto

I should have known when this recipe inspiration came from a cookbook called Autumn in Ontario's Wine Country that this recipe would not have that "taste of Spring" that I was looking for, even if I did use fresh green chives and served it with asparagus. The wild rice, red wine, earthy mushrooms and the fragrant thyme had this recipe one foot firmly in another season.
The filling for these chicken rolls is another recipe using Oka cheese. If any cheese is native to Canada, it’s Oka. Oka is a type of Port Salut cheese, first made in Brittany, France by the Trappist monks. To supplement their income and make the monastary self sustaining they started producing cheese in Canada. History finds that monks created some of the best cheese and wines. They are backed up by years of experience to perfect their technique! A semi-soft cow's milk cheese that's creamy, nutty and fruity was made by the monks in Oka, Quebec a small village situated on the north shore of the Lake of the Two Mountains, just southwest of Montréal. Oka is traditionally covered with an orange rind that’s washed in brine and aged on cypress wood planks. In 1974, Agropur, Canada’s largest cheese cooperative bought the rights to produce Oka from the monks. Their cheese is made just down the street from the original Trappist Monk's monastery.

Although it was certainly delicious you can use this recipe as a guideline to celebrate Spring and perhaps enjoy the pop of a fresh garden pea, lemon and lightly sauteed fiddleheads added to the mix. Serve with Wild Rice and Mushroom Risotto below.

One Year Ago ...Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar
Two Years Ago ...Kick it in the Butt Lasagna
Three Years Ago...Chopped Chicken Mediterranean Salad with Feta Vinaigrette

**Chicken Rolls with Oka and Thyme**

  • 4 oz Oka cheese, cut into 4 rectangles
  • 4 sprigs thyme, chopped
  • 4 (7 oz) boned chicken breasts
  • 3 tablepoons Vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup (1bout 100 grams) flour

  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Baco Noir wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fine herbs or a mixture of parsley, thyme and chive
1. Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C.

2. Butterfly each chicken breast, using a sharp knife to carefully cut into one side until it opens like a book. Season the interior with salt and pepper. Top with a slice of cheese and chopped thyme. Close and secure with string or toothpicks, or wrap them in caul fat. (My trick to hold them together is to use dried spaghetti in place of toothpicks; it basically disappears during cooking). Dredge your "rolls" in flour. 

3. Heat oil in ovenproof skillet on medium-high. Sear breast  until golden, about 2 minutes.

4.  Place skillet on bottom shelf of oven and roast for 12 - 20 minutes, depending on the size of your breasts, or until juices are clear. Remove breasts and keep warm. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet.

 5. Place pan on high heat; add shallot and garlic. Sauté 1 minute then add wine and reduce by half, about 3 minutes. Add stock and reduce until half a cup remains, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and swirl in butter and herbs. Adjust seasonings.

To serve: Place risotto in center of plates. Lay asparagus on top. Place breast on top of asparagus. Drizzle sauce around.

 Serves 4

**Wild Rice and Spring Mushroom Risotto**
  • 3 cups (750 ml) chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) wild rice
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cups (500 ml) finely chopped mushrooms (oyster, shiitakes, white or brown mushrooms, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Arborio rice (a short-grain Italian rice)
  • 2 oz (60 g) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • handful of chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1.In a saucepan, stir together chicken broth and wild rice; bring to a boil, cover and simmer 45 minutes over low heat. Most of the stock will be absorbed but if there is any remaining drain wild rice and set aside. To add more chicken stock to equal 3 cups, bring to a boil and then allow to simmer.

2.In a large saucepan, heat oil and butter over low heat and cook garlic and shallots for approximately 3 minutes until onion is translucent.

3. Add mushrooms and cook turning the heat up to high.

4.Deglaze the pan with wine and reduce liquid until saucepan is almost dry. Stir in Arborio rice to coat each grain.

5. Over medium heat, add wild rice and 3 cups broth to Arborio rice, a ladleful at a time, stirring well after each addition until the rice has absorbed all the liquid before adding the next one. Repeat, stirring constantly, for about 25 minutes, until all the wild rice has been stirred in.

6.Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese, and chives. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Serves 4 - 8

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. That is a wonderful meal! Both the risotto and chicken rolls sound very flavorful and enjoyable.



  2. No matter the season, this looks and sounds delicious. Is oka exported? I'll have to look next time I'm at the cheese shop if it is. Speaking of non-seasonable, I'm preparing a beef bourguignon for our Sunday dinner as we are having real "meat and potatoes" guests.


  3. But it would have been a shame had you waited till Autumn to make this!

  4. Given that we have had nothing but wind and flurries here today this would be perfect! Autumn in wine country - who knew?

  5. This looks really delicious and the picture with the flower is just gorgeous!

  6. It's still damp and cold here, and a nice meal like this is welcome any time of year. Actually though, anything with asparagus screams "spring" to me. I've never seen Oka cheese, but it sounds delicious! :)

  7. That sounds really tasty, I love the presentation too! Just lovely!

  8. That chicken looks incredibly delicious, Val! And there's that lovely Oka cheese again. I really, really need to track some down. :-)

  9. I've never heard of Oka cheese, Val. I wonder if I can find it here? I'll have to ask at the cheese shop.
    Beautiful dish and mushroom risotto can't be beat. So earthy and perfect with chicken.
    Do you love tulips as much as I do? Those soft pink ones in your photo are so lovely.

  10. You have peaked my ineterst in OKA cheese. I never heard of it and I will look around to see if my cheese guy has it. If not, when are you coming to New York...;}

  11. This looks delicious, Val. I love chicken with a simple pan sauce, and even better if it's stuffed with cheese. I haven't had oka but I may need to make a run across the border the next time I am visiting family in MI. :)

  12. Vall these chicken rolls look amazing! Im hungry!! gloria

  13. What a delicious looking recipe.

  14. Likewise, I am so curious about this Oka cheese. After your raves about it here, and that amazing photo of the luciously gooey grilled cheese sandwich, I'll certainly be on the hunt for it in California.

  15. For anyone in the Bay Area of California, it looks like Oka is currently in stock at the most amazing Cheese Board Collective in Berkeley (with which I have great admiration but no personal nor professional link). http://cheeseboardcollective.coop/cheese_bakery/cheese

  16. Oka is one of my favorite cheeses. That sauce sound perfect with the chicken.

  17. Your Oka cheese sounds wonderful and so do the chicken rolls and risotto. Love the sauce on the chicken!

  18. The chicken rolls look just beautiful - as does the entire plate! Never had oka, but now I must investigate. I'm sure this would be good with other similar cheeses though. I love your pan sauce!

    I also love your risotto. The wild rice is a great addition to the old-fasioned arborio. Makes it a bit more nutritious too. I really must try that.

  19. This sounds simply wonderful, Val. Can Port Salut be used in place of the oka? Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  20. The more oka recipes you post, the more i think that it and I have a date with destiny. This looks like a delicious meal!

  21. Yes Mary Port Salut is one and the same I would think. The monks called it Oka after the village they lived in.

  22. Love both the chicken and the risotto dish .. absolutely yummy!! :)

  23. That sauce sounds delicious! I love chicken with wine sauce. And the picture is so beautiful it made me hungry even though I've just had breakfast!

  24. Those chicken rolls look so beautiful!

  25. The whole area of Oka is beautiful, especially in the Fall season. Going there and picking up a piece of Oka cheese had always been part of our day out in that area. It's been a while and the last I had heard, the Monks sold the business as well as the gorgeous property. I really hope it was just a rumour...it would be such a disappointing loss.

    Thanks for this very appetizing meal Val ;o)

    Ciao for now,

  26. Oka cheese, huh? You have educated all of us on a new ingredient. The final dish looks great!


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