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!

Unfortunately there is no picture of this soup… nay, this phenomenon is culinary art.

Driving home from work one afternoon it suddenly occurred to me that I had 5 tomatoes in the fridge that would soon be past their prime (and days away from growing a pair of legs). I decided that it would be a pity for these plump tomatoes to go to waste and so concluded that I would have to cook them that same day. As I was preparing a quick lunch I chopped the tomatoes into quarters, chucked them into water with a clove of garlic, roasted sunflower seeds and some oregano and let them simmer for close to an hour. I remembered the throw in about a teaspoon of sugar some time in between. When the tomatoes had softened sufficiently and I was tired of giving my concoction attention, I blended the whole thing and just let it sit there. It didn’t look good. It was frothy and smelled somewhat sweet for a soup. Having to go back to work I placed the soup in the fridge and thought I’d worry about it later. Or throw it out, whichever came first.

Lucky for the soup the next day was a sunday so after some thought I brought the soup out to revive it. I boiled it again and added some cornflour mixture. When I wasn’t looking Matt threw in some tobasco sauce. (The reason being that I merely was not looking and not because I don’t approve of tobasco sauce). And I have no idea what happened there, seeing as it was so simple, but it turned out to be delicious.  Just ask our friend dave! He was the one to give it it’s outrageous name.