This is a creation I have been making for a long time for special occasions as it can be expensive to make but most certainty well worth the little extra it costs to make. It may not look very good but the taste is divine and addictive to eat. I cooked it this time for my fiancées birthday as she wanted it, so more than happily I cooked it.
The ingredients are
- 1 pack of bacon (smoked or unsmoked)
- 1 whole chicken (1.2-.15kg will feed 2-4 people)
- 1 jar of pesto (I used a red pesto that had chilli in)
- 2 tins of whole button mushrooms (can use fresh if so use 1 pack of fresh mushrooms usually 150g)
- 1 whole pack of camembert cheese
- 200g of pasta (I find that smaller pasta shapes (like shells or spirals) works best but not mini pasta shapes)
- and gravy to cook the chicken in the slow cooker (if you want to roast the chicken the gravy is unneeded and a roasting bag is recommended as the chicken needs to be very soft and juicy)
I started off by slow cooking the chicken in the slow cooker for 5 hours to make sure the chicken was as soft and juicy and perfectly cooked as possible.
Next came 3 stages I got a pan of water boiling for the pasta and got the pasta boiling, also I cut up the bacon and removed the outer edge of the white on the camembert but leaving the top and bottom white then cutting it up into smallish equal sized pieces. Then putting the cheese and bacon back in the fridge for a few mins while I sorted the mushrooms out. And also I cut up the mushrooms leaving some of the smaller ones whole so they would also be a rough uniform size.
Next came taking all the chicken off the whole cooked chicken this can be tricky to avoid getting any bones in or burning your hands on the chicken as it will still be very hot but with a fork and knife it can be done after the chicken is off it needs to be roughly the same size pieces, usually I try for around and inch cube.
I used a wok but a large pan can also be used I cooked the mushrooms then added the bacon making sure it is well mixed through to avoid the bacon bits sticking together, also before adding the bacon any water needs to be drained from the pan as the mushrooms will leave some water in the pan during the cooking process.
Next you add the cooked pasta to the pan and mix through.
And the pesto comes next and again make sure it is well mixed through so all the pasta is covered.
Then the same with the chicken, at this point the heat under the pan needs to be turned down from hot to medium so nothing burns. this step will take longer as the chicken will be harder to mix through and get covered.
The camembert comes in last and is a lot harder to mix in as it needs to melt in the pan sticking everything together this will take a couple of mins and will add the creamy taste to the dish that makes it addictive.
once all mixed together you get to enjoy, if you need this to feed 3-4 people either add some fresh bead or some garlic bread because to extend the pasta for more people requires a second jar of pesto, a bigger chicken and more bacon so its easier to do some bread and the bread compliments the meal nicely.
This is a simple xmas dinner which takes 30 mins after the chicken has been in the slow cooker for 5 hours or 2 hours in a roasting bag (which negates the need to baste the chicken)
The ingredients I used were,
- 1 1.2kg chicken slow cooked (can be roasted in a roasting bag)
- 1 pack of rindless back bacon (can be smoked bacon)
- 150g of stuffing mix
- 1/2 a bag of frozen roast potatoes (for ease)
- 1/2 a bag of frozen Yorkshire puddings
To start with I put the chicken into a slow cooker with a thin chicken gravy to boost the chicken flavour for around 5 hours on the highest setting.
Half an hour short of the finishing time for the chicken put the roast potatoes into the oven for the amount of time that the pack states.
Then on a medium grill make the bacon and stuffing wraps which is around a desert spoon of make up stuffing wrapped in a rasher of back bacon (I prefer smoked bacon) these cook in around 15-20 mins on a medium heat grill turning over after 10 mins.
Then 5 mins before the roast potatoes have finished you put in the Yorkshire puddings (3 medium puddings for each person), these get put on the bottom shelf of the oven where the potatoes are on the middle shelf.
then to finish take the breasts of the chicken and give one to each person and the rest of the chicken can be used in a leftovers meal like the chicken pasties, pies or chicken toasties (next post)
Best way to finish off the meal is to add an amount of gravy (as much as is wanted)
These started off with the leftover chicken from the chicken pies (https://piespizzaandpasta.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/slow-cooked-chicken-pie/) and were made for a lunch time meal but you could use a whole chicken and make more to make it into a dinner meal or lunch for more than just 2 (2 pasties were made)
This is all that goes into the pasties and it is 1 pack of pre rolled puff pastry, the leftover chicken from the chicken pies (https://piespizzaandpasta.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/slow-cooked-chicken-pie/) and a small amount of thick gravy. You also need to preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit)
this is how i made 2 but you can make more larger or smaller depending on how you feel and how much pastry and chicken you have, but to start i cut 4 squares of pastry about 5 inches square and piled the chicken on in the middle leaving about a inch around the outside and piling it up about 1-1.5 inches high in a dome in the center.
Next I made some thick gravy up and put about 2-3 tablespoons of gravy over the chicken not to fully cover the chicken because that would cause the pastry to go soggy during the cooking process but 2-3 tablespoons over the top is enough to keep the chicken moist and to add a little extra flavor, also you need to brush around the edge of the pasty with some milk or beaten egg to help with the seal in the next step
This is the final stage before cooking and this is where you put the 2nd square of pastry over the chicken and using a fork press down on the edges making a seal all the way around the outer edge and using a sharp knife cut an x in the middle to allow the steam to leave the top of the pasty during the cooking so the pasties don’t go soggy, before cooking you need to brush the top with a little milk or egg wash (whisked egg) this allows the top to go golden brown and not just burn the pastry. Then cook for around 10-15 mins or until the tops have gone golden and then enjoy.