I am willing to admit that my naming skills aren’t great but this dish is exactly as it sounds. May be we should christen it Chicken Anna or something just to make it sound fancy but I can hardly have been the first person to come up with this idea, surely?
It sounds simple enough but it is a little bit fiddly to put together. Nothing complex, but the step by step just takes a little while to prepare, which you know I don’t susually favour. The results are totally worth it though!
The earthy umami of the mushrooms is really brought to the fore and the flavour that you get from using chicken thigh, rather than the more popular breast, is wonderful. Proper streaky bacon to swaddle it in and keep all of those delicious flavours together gives it another little flavour burst. Served with fresh vegetables and a rich, creamy sauce I think that this dish will prove very popular in my family in the future and well worth the effort!
30g dried porcini mushrooms
200g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
splash of white wine (~3tbsp)
4 large chicken thighs*
16 rashers streaky bacon
50g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
200ml double cream
(*The supermarket packs of chicken thighs will probably only get you 3 large ones, so you need to either buy two packets to get large ones, piece together several smaller thighs or go to a proper butcher who can help you get exactly what you need.)
– Cover the dried porcini in 300ml of boiling water and leave to soak for 15 mins then drain, reserving the liquid, and roughly chop.
– Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan and add the mushrooms, seasoning well with salt and pepper.
– Cook until starting to brown then add the chopped porcini.
– Add the wine and simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid is gone.
– Carefully pour the liquid left from the procini over the mushrooms, being careful not to add any grit.
– Simmer, stirring frequently, until all of the liquid has evaporated.
– Leave to cool.
– Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200C.
– Trim any of the fatty bits from your chicken thighs.
– Cover the chicken thighs with some strong cling film and bash the thicker parts of the thigh with a rolling pin to flatten to a more even thichness all over. You want to retain the rectangular shape as much as you can so place your blows carefully.
– Place 4 rashers of streaky bacon on a chopping board. Layer them slightly so that they form one sheet.
– Place your chicken thigh on top, centre facing upwards. If using several smaller thighs, jigsaw it together as best as you can.
– Add a few spoonfuls of mushroom mixture along the centre. You will not use all of the mushroom mixture. You should have at least 1/3 left over. Set aside until you make the sauce.
– Carefully pull the chicken thighs up over the mushroom layer. It should just about meet.
– Then wrap the bacon rashers one at a time around the chicken thigh so that it completely encloses the meat and keeps the mushrooms from spilling out the ends.
– Place in an oven proof dish and cook in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. You want the insides to be totally cooked with no pink to the juices.
– To make the sauce first heat a splash of oil in a saucepan.
– Add the sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt and stir until cooked.
– Add the remaining mushroom mixture from the filling and cook until everything is hot.
– Add the cream and heat until piping hot.
– Season to taste then serve over the stuffed chicken thighs. I served them with pommes Anna, grilled asparagus, chantenay carrots and a nice Chablis!