I seem to be on a blue cheese, bacon and walnut bender. The recent cold blustery weather has made me very, very hungry, all the time, and I'm craving all things heavy, warming and rib-sticking, thus tonight's dinner.
Bacon-wrapped chicken, seared then roasted, surrounded by more bacon, mushrooms, onions and garlic and a glug of red wine, plus polenta rich with this year's organic Tuscan EV olive oil (lovingly brought home for us by Bruno's parents after their Tuscan summer idyll - they are so good to us) and parmesan (a huge craggy chunk, also courtesy of Ruth and Ersnt), and a salad adapted from my latest Brocki read, 'On Rue Tatin: The Simple Pleasures of Life in a Small French Town', by Susan Loomis - salad greens, walnuts, tart apples and crumbled blue cheese, with a vinaigrette thick with hard-boiled egg yolk (leftover from Lola's lunch - she loves eggs, but only the whites of hard-boiled eggs, so I often have surplus egg yolks hanging about). An oldie but a goodie, and so delicious with a glass of red wine.
We spooned the juices from the chicken and wine-soaked vegetables over the polenta, and it was great. Previously I've made the chicken with roasted potatoes, but having something soft and spoonable to soak up all the yummy juices was a definite party pleaser. And the salad - the salad I could have eaten alone, it was so good. What is it with the apples, walnuts and stinky roquefort?! Perfect!
And now Bruno has just handed me a waffle cone with a scoop of distinctly alcoholic prune icecream, with a cup of hot peppermint tea. Now I can go to bed happy.
Bacon-wrapped chicken with mushrooms, bacon and onion
- Chicken breasts
- Bacon - two rashers per chicken breast, plus two rashers
- Chopped mushrooms
- Finely diced onion
- Clove of garlic
- Red wine
- Preheat oven to 200°c.
- Wrap each chicken breast in a couple of rashers of bacon.
- Heat a pan to high heat, then sear each chicken breast for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown and crisp.
- Place in a shallow oven-proof dish and set aside.
- Pour off the excess bacon fat, and saute mushrooms, onions, garlic and extra bacon (I snip it into small pieces with scissors) in the same pan (make sure you scrape up all those delicious crusty bits on the bottom of the pan!). When all the vegetables are softened, add a glug of red wine and then rapidly cook off all the excess liquid.
- Scatter veggies and bacon around the chicken breasts and roast for 20 minutes or so until just cooked through and tender.
- Serve hot, with a mound of polenta. Don't forget, the pan juices are destined to be drizzled over the polenta!
Apple, walnut and roquefort salad (adapted from Susan Loomis)
- Salad greens, whatever you have that is fresh, crisp and colourful
- A tart apple, diced
- Handful or two of walnuts
- Crumbly blue cheese, the stinkier the better
- Vinaigrette (I made mine with red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, a hard-boiled egg yolk, sea salt, pepper, half a spoonful of honey and that delicious grassy EV olive oil, whisked all together to taste)
- Mix the salad leaves, apple, walnuts and vinaigrette together until all the leaves are glistening and well-moistened.
- Crumble over the blue cheese, serve and enjoy.