Roasted chicken breasts on the bone stuffed with spinach, bacon and mozzarella

There are so many stuffed chicken recipes available and they all look delicious!  Of course, most of them require the chicken to be skinned and boneless (which is good), and covered with bread crumbs and deep fried or baked which is not so good, when you are trying to cut on the carbs.  This recipe should make any person that follows the LCHF (#banting) diet very happy, although I could not resist adding a creamy white mushroom sauce, which the more disciplined among us can leave out, of course.

There is something very comforting about the smell of slow roasted chicken permeating through the house. It reminds me of big family dinners and a warm kitchen and puts me in the mood to invite friends over and open a bottle of wine. It is, of course, also perfect when entertaining- the chicken can be prepared before hand, popped into the oven, and give you a good hour and a half of wine and chatting before serving up.

I decided to keep the chicken on the bone to add more flavour and prevent it from drying out, and made an incision above and along the bone to form a pocket for the stuffing. I served this with a creamy mushroom sauce, but the pan juices that cook out of the chicken is sufficient as a sauce on its own. For this recipe, I only used two chicken breasts but it can easily be increased for more portions.

Stuffing:

8-10 baby spinach leafs, finely chopped

3-4 chives, finely chopped

2 slices smoked shoulder bacon, finely chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Melt the butter over moderate heat. Sauté the chives and bacon until done, and add the spinach. Sauté for another 3-4 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat, and add the grated mozzarella. Stir through, until every thing comes together (the cheese doesn’t have to melt completely, you just want everything to stick together). Add black pepper for taste.

Chicken:

2 large chicken breasts on the bone or 4 thighs on the bone

a dash of olive oil

1 tablespoon butter, cut into small blocks

3 small sprigs of thyme

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Make an incision above the bone along the length of the chicken breast to form a pocket. The same can be don for thighs which works just as well.

Remove any excess fat and skin.  Gently lift some of the remaining skin and insert 2 very small blocks of butter just below the skin as well as 2-3 thyme leafs. Insert a tablespoon of stuffing into the pocket, but without overfilling it.  Repeat for each chicken breast or thigh. Rub the top of the chicken with a drop of olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste and place in a prepared oven-proof dish that can be covered.  Cover the dish and place in the oven.  Bake covered for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover the chicken with any juices that has cooked out and bake uncovered for another 40 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Mushroom sauce:

125 grams white button mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup double thick Greek yoghurt

Melt the butter over moderate heat before adding the mushrooms. Fry the mushroom until softened and add the yoghurt.  Stir for another 3-4 minutes until heated through and it starts to boil. Remove from the heat.

I served the chicken with cous cous but it can be served with only a green salad on the side, and will still make for a very fulfilling meal!

 

Poached egg on a bed of spinach, feta and bacon

After all the excitement and over-indulgence of Valentine’s day and chocolate for breakfast, I had to return to the straight and narrow this morning- no carbs, some veggies and lots of protein.  I did spoil myself with some crispy bacon bits though, but it can be left out for a healthier, vegetarian option.  It makes for a filling, but light breakfast and a great start to the weekend!  And of course, it offers a great lining for the wine tastings that are to follow….

This recipe gives 2 portions:

2 large, free range eggs

15 white spirit vinager

6-8 spinach leafs, finely chopped

60 grams bacon bits

1/4 wheel feta

Heat a dash of olive oil in a large pan, and add the shredded spinach. Let the spinach wilt (it might be necessary to add a dash of water) and set aside. In the same pan, fry the bacon bits until crispy.

Bring a medium pot of water to boil with the tablespoon of vinegar. Gently break the egg into a teacup and “pour” into the boiling water. For a medium soft egg (pictured above), boil for precisely 3 minutes with the lid on. If you want it a bit harder, boil for 3 and a half minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Arrange the spinach in a plate, cover with feta and bacon and place the egg on top. A healthy, very low carb, high protein breakfast that can be prepared in 10 minutes!

Spinach, bacon and feta quiche with a savoury shortbread crust

This is one of my favourites to make-another blank canvas recipe!  You can make any filling of your choice and add ingredients to your liking.  You can of course easily go completely vegetarian and only use veggies.

It took me forever to learn how to make a decent quiche. The trickiest part for me was the crust. This crust recipe is a savoury shortbread recipe, and was actually designed to make tiny shortbread biscuits that can be served with any topping of your choice as a delicious canapé. If you have leftover crust, roll it into a sausage, slice it into slices and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15-20 min, top with a dollop of cream cheese and nibble on it whilst waiting for the quiche.

For the crust:

1 1/2 cup cake flour

80 grams butter, cubed

100 gram cheese (I used a halal white Gouda that doesn’t contain any animal rennet)

a pinch of salt

Add the flour to a mixing bowl (no need to sift) together with a pinch of salt. Now add the butter, and gently work the butter into the flour until the flour resembles course crumbs or cous cous. Now add your cheese. Using your fingers and hands, work the cheese into the flour until it al comes together into a dough. This should take about 5-10 minutes.  The dough will still be crumbly but you should be able to handle it, and press it down into a greased standard pie dish.

For the filling:

1 tablespoon olive oil

250 grams washed, chopped fresh spinach

1 brown onion, chopped

100 grams diced bacon

50-80 grams feta

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 large eggs

3/4 cup greek yoghurt

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsuis. Heat the olive oil over moderate heat in a pan on the stove. Add the onion and sauté for 5-8 minutes, add the bacon and fry for a further 5 minutes.  Now add the spinach and stir fry until wilted. Add black pepper to taste. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool before adding the feta. Whisk the eggs and yoghurt together in a separate container. Once the spinach mixture has cooled down, place it in your prepared pie dish, cover with the egg mixture, gently mix with the spinach without damaging the crust, and cover with 50 grams of cheese of your choice if you should prefer.  Bake for 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius (a knife should come out clean of you pierce the quiche), and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving (it will continue setting as it cools). Serve with a fresh green salad and enjoy!