I don’t trust people who don’t particularly care about food. You know the type. They eat because they have to and wouldn’t particularly care whether you gave them Marmite on toast or seared tuna with truffled cauliflower puree for dinner. In fact, they’d prefer the toast, because the whole thing would be over faster. If they could, they’d pop a pill three times a day in lieu of eating a meal if such a thing were possible. I just don’t trust them. It’s not normal, I tell you! I’m quite sure they’re just waiting for a signal from the mother ship and then they’ll all start shedding their borrowed human skin and start converting nitrogen straight into whatever cells make up their weird-ass, food disdaining, alien bodies. Fortunately (and maybe because of this fact) I married a very appreciative eater. I love cooking for bush man. He makes these little noises as he eats when he’s enjoying the food. Little “hmmm”‘s and “sho”‘s and “that’s good, add it to the list”s (there is no list of dishes I must remember to try again, but I really should start one, because he’s often told me to add things to it and I’m buggered if I can remember a single thing on there now other than this chicken). Anyway, when I made this dish, there were no less than five “hmmm”‘s in the first two minutes of eating, so I knew it was a winner. The original recipe is one concocted by my mom – one of my food heroes and the reason that “Must appreciate food.” was at the top of the list of attributes I looked for in my man. I just added bacon because, well, it’s bacon, and it should be added to stuff.
Cream cheese & herb stuffed chicken with braised leeks & bacon
1 hour 30 mins
Recipe type: Main
- 8 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
- cream cheese, sour cream & full cream Greek yogurt totaling 250ml (you can use only one or all three combined in whatever quantities you like, depending on what you have in the fridge, but I would definitely recommend the cheese & sour cream)
- hand full of chopped, fresh herbs (thyme and chives work particularly well)
- 125 grams bacon, diced
- 300g leeks, thinly sliced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- a squeeze of lemon juice if you don’t use sour cream
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Fry the bacon and leeks together over medium heat until softened. This should take about ten minutes. Sprinkle over the flour, stir through, transfer to a baking dish and pour over 250ml chicken stock.
- Combine the cheese mixture, herbs and seasoning. Gently ease the skin on the chicken loose with your fingers, keeping the side bits attached to create a pocket. That would be gross if it was Hannibal Lecter creating a skin pocket, but here it’s just clever.
- Using a spoon, gently stuff the cheese mixture under the skin, using it all up. It should be well stuffed.
- Place the chicken on top of the leeks and bacon, dot with butter and cover in foil. Bake for 40 minutes, remove the foil, and bake for a further 25 minutes or until golden. Serve with mash.
This recipe is lovely made with turkey at Christmas time!