Recipes for a forest-themed lunch from renowned KZN chef and cookbook author, Jackie Cameron
For the chicken roll with stuffing
- 6 chicken breast, skinless
- 30g salted butter
- 6 slices streaky bacon, chopped
- 195g onions, finely chopped
- 16g garlic, crushed
- 187,5ml cooked barley
- 1½ slices fresh white bread, finely broken
- 3 eggs
- black pepper
- 12 large morogo or spinach leaves, washed and white vein removed
For the mushroom and butter bean puree
- 10g salted butter
- 15ml olive oil
- 140g onions, sliced
- 10g garlic, crushed
- 240g potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 250g button mushrooms
- 200ml water
- 250ml cream
- 2 tins butter beans, drained
For the spinach puree
- 10g salted butter
- 15ml olive oil
- 100g onions
- 5g garlic, crushed
- 200g potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 250ml water
- 125ml cream
- 150g spinach
For the garlic chips
- 10 cloves fresh garlic
- 900ml full cream milk
- Sunflower oil, for frying
For the pearl onions
- 3 pearl onions, cut into half, skin on
- 125ml beef or chicken stock
- 15g salted butter
- 10ml balsamic vinegar
For the red wine sauce
- 750ml red wine
- 150g tomato paste
- 5l beef stock
- 60g Greek yoghurt
- 30 Enoki mushrooms, seared in butter
- 6 slices Parma ham, dried out and crispy
- 18 Broccoli florets, blanched and refreshed
To make the chicken roll with stuffing
- Place the chicken breasts in between plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to flatten the 6 chicken breasts and then set aside in the fridge.
- Make the stuffing: In a pan, melt the butter, add the bacon and sauté well.
- Add the onions and garlic and sauté.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, keeping the pan warm, add the barley, breadcrumbs, eggs and season with salt and pepper. Place the stuffing mixture into the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
- Place a long sheet (30cm) of plastic wrap onto a work surface. Place morogo or 2 spinach leaves onto this, then a chicken breast on top of the morogo/spinach (original skinless side down). Measure out 85g stuffing mixture for each chicken breast, place this on top of the chicken breast, pressing the stuffing mixture out over the breast.
- Tightly roll the chicken breast into a roll, using the plastic, with the spinach being on the outside.
- Tie the ends of the plastic tightly on both sides.
- Place all the rolled chicken breasts into a large pot of boiling water and allow to boil for about 13-15 minutes.
- Remove from water, allow to slightly cool, remove the plastic and slice.
To make the mushroom and butter bean puree
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter and heat the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and allow this to caramelise. Add the potatoes and mushrooms, combining well.
- Add the water and cream, bring to a boil then turn down the heat. Simmer until the potatoes are soft and most of the liquid has reduced.
- Add the drained butter beans and add to a blender/food processor. Blend well and strain. Season with salt and black pepper and place into a piping bag and set aside.
To make the spinach puree
- In a small saucepan melt the butter and heat the oil. Add the onions and garlic, cook until caramelised.
- Add the potatoes, combining well.
- Add the water and cream, bring this to a boil, then turn down the heat and allow the mixture to simmer, until the potatoes are soft and most of the liquid has reduced.
- Add the spinach, stir quickly and remove from the heat.
- Blend and strain. Season with salt and black pepper. Place into a piping bag and set aside.
To make the garlic chips
- Peel the garlic cloves and cut them into slices as thinly as possible.
- Place three small pots of milk onto the heat and blanch the thinly sliced garlic. Add the garlicto one pot, bring to the boil, remove and strain. Then do this again in the next milk pot. And again. This will remove intensity and garlic bitterness.
- Remove from the milk and place onto a paper towel to dry.Deep fry in the oil on a medium heat until the garlic chips are crisp and golden in colour. Place onto a paper towel and set aside.
To make the pearl onions
- Place the pearl onions into a small oven tray, add the stock and cover the tray with foil. Place into the oven at 200°C for about 20 minutes, until they are soft.
- In a frying pan, melt the butter. Place the onions cut side down onto the pan, and add the balsamic vinegar.
- Sear the onions wel, for about 30 seconds.
- Remove from the pan, allow to slightly cool, then take the onion layer-rounds apart (as per photo, to almost form little onion scoops).
To make the red wine sauce
- In a large pot, bring the red wine to the boil.
- Whisk in the tomato paste and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the stock, combine well and allow this mixture to reduce by about 3/4.
- Strain through an oil filter/muslin cloth/coffee filter, place back on the heat, keeping the sauce hot.
- Left-over sauce can be placed in the refrigerator in a sterilised bottle. Tip: heat the sauce up once a week and this will last for ages.
Putting the dish together
- Pipe a large round of the mushroom and butterbean puree in the centre of the serving place.
- Place the sliced chicken on both sides of the piping.
- On top of the mushroom and butterbean puree, arrange the onions, garlic chips, Parma ham, Enoki mushrooms, broccoli florets and pipe the spinach puree and Greek yoghurt here and there.
- Drizzle the red wine sauce around the plate.
(This recipe serves 6 people)