Day 37: Herb-Stuffed Chicken

Tonight was our dedicated day to put what we learned on Saturday into practice. The herb-stuffed chicken was on our minds, so that’s what we attempted. This is not a Rachel Ray 30 minute meal, so you cannot approach it with that attitude. Dinner prep didn’t realistically start until 7:40pm. Both Drew and I had our own places to go and people to see until then, so we had a dinner that resembled Spanish time today!

While in Verona at my voice lesson earlier this afternoon, my teacher Chiara mentioned that she had several things to do with friends coming over for dinner, and knew that even though she had so much to do, she couldn’t make her list get done any faster, so her solution was to make a cup of tea and take 15 minutes for herself. Voilà, my friends.  There it is! The beautiful Italian mindset that doesn’t get stressed out when life’s to-do list piles up. The acknowledgment that we cannot control everything, so we must love a little while the uncontrollable things have their way in our lives. Even with all of the yoga, even the yoga teacher training, this mindset is very difficult for me, a classic Type A person to adopt. But I digress…

I tried to set up all the ingredients to show y’all, but we were in an overdrive all-hands-on-deck moment as we both multitasked to get everything prepared to actually cook, so this was a partially tag-team scenario, partially hubby completely stepping up to the plate because Wifey was too stressed about life to properly function. So some of these pictures are an ode to my amazing hubby.

Here are the loose steps that we took (we doubled the recipe to allow for leftovers for lunches and freezer):

1. Alicia weighed the herbs for the filling while Drew “butterflied” the chicken.

Drew’s chopping skills.

2. Drew finely chopped the herbs because he’s very skilled with kitchen knives while Alicia made breadcrumbs out of bread.

Drew pounding the meat with a wine bottle.

3. Alicia heated the olive oil and herbs on the stove while Drew finished butterflying the chicken. He also pounded the chicken with the end of a wine bottle, since the PashbyMauls don’t have a meat pounder in their kitchen. Alicia slowly mixed in the breadcrumbs, then put the filling mixture into the fridge to cool off.

Hubby being awesome. Pictoral evidence that we are a team!

4. Hubby earned major points as he emptied and put away all of the clean dishes and loaded the dirty dishes into the dishwasher!

Alicia wraps the chicken rolls candy style.

5. Alicia mixed the cooled herb mixture with the egg, then handed it off to Drew. Drew stuffed the chicken and rolled it up, while Alicia took the finished chicken roll and wrapped it in foil, “candy style,” placing it in a pan for baking.

6. “Candy rolls” of chicken were placed in the oven at 180C (350°F) for 30 minutes.

7. 1/2 cup of white wine was added to the pan before it was placed back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Unwrapping the first treasure too quickly… we were so eager to eat it!

8. Chicken rolls were left to sit in their own juices for 10-15 minutes before cutting into slices and arranging onto plates.

E perfetto, si?

What we could have done better: we didn’t use enough salt and pepper. That certainly wasn’t on purpose, it was just because we forgot to add it during several points where it was required. Finally, letting the chicken rolls stand for 10-15 minutes is a mandatory step! We were eager to eat, so we let our stomachs get ahead of us and the rolls didn’t slice as nicely. Letting the chicken sit allows it to cool just enough to slice easier!

Overall, still a gastronomical success. Thank you Trattoria All’Angelo for the inspiration!

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