Chicken wrapped with parma ham and cheese

So, what does one do with a pack of defrosted boneless chicken thighs?  As usual, open the fridge and wait for inspiration!

Before I start, a quick word on the chicken:  most of us are familiar with the convenience of chicken breast. Cut them up, grill, stir fry, throw into a sauce etc. no hassles with bones and not particularly messy. The thing is they do tend to lack a little in the flavour department.   We came across these boned chicken thighs which are just as convenient but MUCH more juicy and tasty, so keep an eye out next time you go shopping!

Ok, now on to the important stuff… so once again we’re staring at an open fridge, and a rather disappointing Chicken Cordon Bleu dish that I had ordered at a restaurant recently came to mind. Surely I can do better?  So out comes some parma ham and sliced cheese.  It’s odd how most of our ingredients are chosen depending on how close the expiry date is.. maybe the fridge is over-stocked?  oh well, the ham came from a leg, so it didn’t need to grow any!

Its saturday morning, and I’m not very good at maintaining a train of thought!

So, pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees.  In the meantime, trim off any excess fat from the chicken and ham.   Fold the cheese slices so that they are roughly half the size of the chicken thighs.   Try and pair up different sized pieces of ham and chicken so that the ham is more or less the same width, and one and a half times longer than the chicken.

A word of warning here:  it’s very tempting to nibble any offcuts of ham or cheese, but if you are using the same knife or chopping board as for the raw chicken, don’t even THINK about it!!!

Place the cheese on the chicken, and roll up into a little parcel. next wrap the ham around the chicken.  Parma ham is quite sticky, so when you roll it back onto itself (hence the extra length of ham needed) it will hold itself together, but use a couple of toothpicks just to keep it in one piece.

Cook in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until the chicken is done.   the ham on the outside will help prevent it getting burnt or dry.

In the meantime, grab a handful of mangetout, rinse and dry.   mix a tablespoon of olive oil with a teaspoon of mustard. If you are using mustard powder, use less as it is much stronger.   Toss them in a hot pan until the smell of the mangetout starts to come out.   By now, the chicken should be almost done.

Serve, and enjoy!   oh, and don’t forget to remove the toothpicks!

Honey and mustard are two condiments that most people would have in their cupboards already.. so this makes for a great lazy dinner. If they’re not in your cupboard already, you really should consider dropping everything right now and going out to get some. Now.

you’ll need:

boneless chicken thighs // or you can use breasts I guess it’ll be the same
1 tablespoon butter (I added a tad of olive oil too so that the butter doesn’t burn)
1 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tblspn mustard
3 tblspn honey
1/2 tspn salt
1/8 tspn pepper
(other optional veg)

In a pan use the butter to brown one side of the chicken (and cook any veg of your choice) for about 10 minutes
Throw in all the other ingredients and turn chicken, keep cooking for another 10-13 minutes stirring occasionally. The honey sticks and browns but the chicken won’t be burning it’s just the coating getting blackish. Serve with either rice or couscous. I made couscous and stirred it in with the leftover gravy.

I find that with these measurements you can taste the honey much more than the mustard, so the next time I’ll be adding more mustard to the mixture. It depends on the individual really.

Also, this seems like a good recipe to make if you’re having guests over as it’s easy to handle and tastes pretty impressive in my opinion. Enjoy!

These muffins were made as a gift and I substituted the sugar for sweetener as I wanted to make them diabetic-friendly. With sweets one usually needs to follow a recipe closer than with savoury foods, so this time I did measure things out! If you intend to use sweetener keep in mind that it is much lighter than sugar in weight and you’ll need to follow the instructions on the packet. You cannot simply replace one for the other and keep the same measurements 😉

You’ll need:

200g plain oats

30g soft brown sugar (mum says this can be substituted with 2 tablespoons of honey)

150g plain flour

75g sugar (or equivalent for sweetener)

1 tbsp baking powder

230ml skimmed milk

2 egg whites

2 tbsp veg oil

grated lemon peel from 2 lemons

1 tsp vanilla essence

230 g fresh or frozen blueberries or cranberries. I used 100g and it was plenty too.

How to make:

Preheat over to 200 C / 400 F / Gas mark 6

line 12 muffin cups with paper cases

Mix all dry ingredients together. In case you’re wondering the lemon rind is not a dry ingredient but will behave itself if mixed with the dry ingredients. Tried and tested. Then in a separate bowl mix all wet ingredients except the fruit. Combine slowly with dry ingredients while mixing. Gently stir in the fruit at the end. Try not to mush it. Fill muffin cups with your mixture. If you like you can sprinkle some oats and brown sugar on the top.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown or until an inserted toothpick comes out dry. Let them cool a little bit, but they taste best when warm. Mmmmm…