|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.
**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
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.
Serves 4 - 8