A Slice of Cherry Pie is a food blog by Julia Parsons who, among others, during my short time of food blogging and Twittering has given me advice and inspiration. This month, I noticed her latest “In the Bag” ingredients and made a comment via Twitter to Julia that she should run the invention test on Masterchef. I mean, what exactly do you do with lemon, garlic & sesame seeds? Then add to that the idea it should be detox themed. You are reading the blog of a guy who, since Christmas, has only had the odd day off from drinking, eaten a lot of chocolate and generally continued to pig out. I am also not well-known for dieting, detox or really anything healthy.
So the gauntlet had been thrown down and I took up this challenge, remembering my New Year resolution to try something new (think I’d get quite a lot of new things in this). I sat back, with beer in hand, thinking lemons, garlic, sesame seeds and detox. I spoke to my Wife about it and as I started to speak, an idea started to come into my head and what follows is the result. Here is my Seed crusted chicken and Bulgar wheat with fennel, shalots, garlic and herbs or, as I like to call it, Chicken Detox Style.
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 Chicken Breast Fillets
1 Small Fennel – chopped
1 Banana Shalot (or 2 small normal) – chopped
200g Bulgar Wheat
50g Mixed seeds (Sesame, Linseed, Pumpkin & Sunflower)
2 Cloves of Garlic – chopped
Juice of 1 Lemon
Sweet Basil – chopped
Taragon – chopped
Grated Ginger – about one teaspoon.
Salt & Pepper
500ml Heated Chicken stock
500ml Boiled Water
1 Egg – beaten
Beat the egg and put in a bowl that you can fit one of your chicken breasts in. Put the seeds in a blender and grind them so the larger seeds break up. Put these in another dish then dip each breast in the egg and then in the seeds to coat. Place in a roasting dish and put in the middle of the oven, gas mark 6 for about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breasts. I put a little oil in the base of the dish to stop the chicken sticking and in keeping with the detox theme I use Rice Bran oil.
While the chicken is cooking, sweat off the shalots in a large pan on a low heat and then add the fennel and garlic. Stir occasionally to stop anything burning, again I put some of the Rice Bran oil in the pan first. Ad the hot chicken stock and water then the Bulgar wheat and juice from the lemon. Bring to the boil and then simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid is soaked into the wheat. Half way through simmering add the chopped herbs and season. Check the chicken and if ready, allow to rest while finishing off the wheat. Season and taste and then serve. I chose to use a shallow dish to serve and reserved some of the chopped basil to sprinkle on top just before serving.
The result was interesting. Chicken was lovely and the toasted sesame seed flavour came through the other seeds. The first hit from the wheat is the fennel with the citrus cutting through followed by the garlic & ginger. It was a pleasant dinner and it felt healthy as you ate it. Would be interested in your comments if you decide to make it yourself and of any changes you make. I think it is a recipe that needs development just to make it a little bit more exciting.
Idea from “In the Bag” feature on http://asliceofcherrypie.blogspot.com