Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Smothered Chicken Thighs in Creamed Spinach with Bacon, Cheese and Mushrooms – Absolutely divine! This is Top Restaurant Quality! - Enjoy!

March 8, 2017

Servings: 4 – 6
Mine prepared in a 5 liter wok


For Presentation: Using grilled chicken thighs you will get a far more impressive looking dish 🙂
However if presentation is not important to you, you may use 1 kg package of 30 % brined chicken fillets or tenders which works out to around 700 – 800 g of meat after drainage and is deliciously tender or you may use any chicken pieces you prefer or have on hand.
If out of mozzarella cheese or running short: I have on occasion substituted half the weight in cheddar to my homemade cream cheese 😉
You may use Monterey Jack Cheese if available or you may replace with Mozzarella or Cheddar cheese. You may mix the cheeses of your choice and sprinkle it on top of the spinach mixture.
You may use any other suitable seasonings such as lemon, cayenne pepper or smoked paprika and a pinch sugar only if needed.

10 chicken thighs, grilled – remainder fats together with stock, drained back into schmaltz container
26 g combo chicken schmaltz (fat) together with some of its’ stock.
90 g bacon bits or finely chopped streaky bacon
125 g mushrooms
25 g chicken stock + 25 g chicken schmaltz (half and half)
Salt to taste
2 bunches spinach
84 g cream + 84 g milk
348 g Mozzarella
188 g Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack Cheese with Jalapenos – I used Cheddar as unavailable
2 cayenne chillies, sliced frozen (Optional) – Which I added

Creamed spinach:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil – From what’s left in pan
1 small onion chopped
2 bunches (800 – 900 g) spinach freshly chopped, stems removed – washed and drained
4 garlic cloves, minced
167 ml (84 g cream + 84 g milk) half and half
2/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded or to taste

Bacon with Mushrooms:
15 ml homemade chicken schmaltz or vegetable oil or half butter to oil
125 g mushrooms, sliced
4 slices bacon (90 g), cooked and chopped or finely diced
4 slices of Pepper Jack cheese (Monterey Jack Cheese with Jalapenos) or Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 180 C or 350 F
Grease the bottom of a baking dish or wok together with rack placed in wok or pan to catch drippings. If grilling over a wok you will need your halogen oven head.
Lightly season chicken thighs. Place onto rack and grill skin up, in wok or pan placed in oven to catch the drippings – stock and fats. Once golden brown and crisp, turn over and repeat with skin side facing up until golden brown and crisp. Set aside.

Prepare Bacon with Mushrooms:
In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon fat or vegetable oil. Add sliced mushrooms and cook on medium – high heat for 1-2 minutes until mushroom caramelize. Do not salt mushrooms or it will prevent their caramelization. Remove – Set aside.

Prepare Spinach:
In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon chicken fat or vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok on medium heat. Add finely chopped onion and spinach. cook for only 1 or 2 minutes, covered, until the spinach is thoroughly heated through and just starts to wilt. Remove – Set aside.
Add minced garlic and half cream to milk blend. Bring to boil. Add shredded mozzarella cheese and keep stirring, on high heat, until mozzarella cheese starts to melt – about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to simmer, add cooked spinach and keep stirring until you have a nice, smooth creamed spinach – about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Season with salt and some freshly grated or ground nutmeg to taste (optional).
Remove from heat.

To Serve:
Top each chicken breast with the creamed spinach, chopped cooked bacon and mushrooms and grated pepper jack or cheddar cheese or half mozzarella to cheddar if you prefer. You may imbed finely sliced (from frozen) jalapenos or cayenne chili peppers into your cheese topping if wished.
Bake in the oven or with halogen extender ring resting on the inner side walls of wok – fitting on halogen element head and grill until cheese is melted.

– Enjoy!

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