Certain flavours are classic and this dish exemplifies this truth. Many of us are used to the old friend called Roast Chicken Stuffed with Sage dressing, but the use of sage here creates an entirely different taste. Use your Nicholas Mosse Casserole to make this scrumptious, warm and cozy dish.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons strong white flour (ordinary will do if necessary)
- 20 fl oz milk
- salt and pepper
The Chicken Bits
- 4 oz roughly chopped shallots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 smallish chicken thighs(Remove any extra fat and skin on top)
- 10 thin slices prosciutto
- 1 ball mozzarella, sliced into small long strips
- 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
- 10 fresh leaves of sage
- salt and pepper
If you have never made a bechamel (fancy name for this sauce) before, it is a good time to start learning! You can do anything with this base sauce and every cook has to be able to use it.
Melt the butter in a heavy pan and toss in the flour. With a flat wooden spoon, mix the two together until a thick paste forms. This is a ‘roux’. Then keep it moving in the pan. You are trying to cook the flour just slightly; don’t let it brown too much or burn, so a low heat and constant pushing around the bottom will help. Have your milk ready and grab a whisk, preferably one of the flat spring variety so you can get into the corners of the pan. When you’re happy that your roux mixture is firming up and when you start to worry about browning, pour in about 6 oz of the milk and whisk like mad. Get all the bits in corners and blend it all together. When you can see it thickening and smoothing out, add another few ounces of milk. Whisk again. Then pour all the milk in and, yes, whisk again. There should be no lumps at this point. The sauce will soon bubble a little, keep the heat low and keep stirring for at least 8 minutes. You want it spoon-coatingly thick, but not stodgy.
Well done, now put it aside for later.
Blend the shallots and olive oil together in the bottom of the casserole dish and cook in a microwave for 2 and1/2 minutes, uncovered. Remove and set aside and prepare your meat.
Into each individual chicken thigh, place a leaf of sage and a sliver/slice of mozzarella. Form a cylindrical bundle and roll it up in the prosciutto. This may sound fussy, but it will all be worth it.
Place 5 of your bundles on top of the shallots in your casserole dish, sprinkle with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan. Then add
the next layer on top, with more salt, pepper and Parmesan. Then take your sauce and pour over all: just barely cover the pieces of wrapped chicken. To make sure that the sauce envelopes everything, poke down through the layers to allow trapped air to be released. Cover the casserole and bake in your oven for about an hour and a half. (Cooking times do vary with ovens!) Uncover, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and cook for a further 20 to 30 minutes to brown the top.
This dish is gentle but rich and soothing. It should reheat, on the odd chance that there is any left over