Sometimes, as I work tirelessly in my little corner at Schinkels’, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have a job that I love. I mean, I get to come in every day, and clean the chicken, cut the chicken, prepare the chicken, kabob the chicken, roll the chicken, fillet the chicken, stuff the chicken, bread the chicken and bacon-wrap the chicken. New recipes are my speciality and I love to try them out on our unsuspecting, I mean, wonderful customers. I made something for our family once, and Greg encouraged me to work out a variation to sell in the counter. So, that meant that I had to figure out how we can make them quickly and efficiently and lots of them and have them still be tasty and hold well together in the counter. I did it all for you, so you don’t have to.
The Bacon Wrapped Spinach and Feta Chicken. (A.K.A. Greek Chicken).
But, it struck me this week as I was working, that maybe some of our customers might want to make their own Greek Chickens or Chicken Cordon Bleu’s. I mean, I do enjoy cooking for my family in my own kitchen from time to time as well. When I’m not working. Or gardening, Or volunteering at school. Or cleaning my house, Or folding my laundry.
So, today, I am going to blog a tutorial on How to make Schinkels’ Greek Chickens and Cordon Bleu’s. And, because they are very similar, you’ll get some added instructions that will cover Andrea’s Chicken Delights, as well. Bonus!
Start with a large chicken breast. Clean it up a bit. If you happen to buy it from Schinkels’, you are in luck – it’s already cleaned up for you. We remove all those little tendons and globs of gross and veins, so you just have a simple breast all ready to work with. You only need the thick end, so cut off about half, and do something with the smaller piece. I usually end up using those pieces for our Kabobs or Chicken Stir Fry, but you will have to figure something out for yourself.
Next, you need to carefully, using a very sharp knife, cut a pocket into the flat end of the chicken. Cut as close to the sides as you can, without going through them. Or your fingers. Or your palm. Be careful, ok? If you mess up and cut through, that’s ok, just cut it into kabob pieces, and try again. Oh, wait. That’s what I do at the store. You might not have more chicken on hand. So, just be careful and get it right the first time.
The ultra secret recipe for the spinach-feta mixture is : Spinach and Feta. With some salt and pepper sprinkled in. See? it’s not hard. Just grab half a pound of crumbled feta and about the same amount of frozen spinach and mix together once the spinach melts. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over top before mixing. Of course, you have to remember to buy the spinach and feta when you buy the chicken, so I hope you did that. And, this makes enough for about 10 Greek Chicken, so, keep that in mind too. If you are just making a couple, you might have to get creative to use up the rest of the mixture.
Stuff the mixture into the chicken pocket. Sorry to say, the only really efficient way is to use your fingers. It’s kinda squishy and slippery, but it works.
Now you take your three pieces of number 1 sliced bacon and lay them out in a star formation like this.
You could use the regular number 2 slice, but it doesn’t wrap around quite as nice and then doesn’t bake all the way through quite the same, either.
Forgot you all don’t have bacon slicers.
Oh, that’s right. You don’t have that bacon slicer at home to get that for you easily. Note to yourself: When buying the chicken, remember to ask for number 1 sliced bacon. 3 slices for each Greek Chicken. Except the ones you messed up when trying to cut pockets.
So, anyway, lay your chicken on the centre, and fold over the bacon ends to cover it. Place it ends-side down and garnish with some of the left over spinach and feta. You probably have lots if you only made 1 or 2.
And, there, you’re done.
Awesome. Now on to
Chicken Cordon Bleu’s and
Andrea’s Chicken Delights.
Once again, start with a Chicken Breast. This time, each breast will make two rolls, so you can make one of each, if you like. Begin by filleting the chicken breast with a very sharp knife.
Remember to secure the breast firmly with your one hand while cutting (carefully) through the centre parallel to the cutting surface. If you end up with one thick and one thin, you’ll have to try again. So, I hope you have some extra. Or, I guess you could adjust cooking times to accommodate the different thicknesses. But, you really want to just try to keep them the same thickness.
So the super secret ingredients for the Cordon Bleu are : Swiss Cheese and Black Forest Ham. And for the Delights : Asperagus, Provolone and Prosciutto. Super simple around here.
Cut the Swiss cheese into pieces 1/2’x 1/2′ x 2 1/2″ and cut the Ham on level 0.5. (Sorry, forgot again, you can just ask the deli staff for 2 slices cut thin for each Cordon). The Swiss you can ask for a 1/2″ thick piece, and then cut a piece for your roll. And then figure out what else you can use the Swiss cheese for later in the week). You just need 2-3 pieces of asparagus, and provolone on number 2 and about 3 oz of Prosciutto on level 0.5.
Fully stocked pantry and fridge?
Now that I think about it, either you would have to stock that sort of stuff usually, like Martha Stewart would, or you might want to remember to include that in your groceries. I tend to forget that the average customer doesn’t have a deli near their work space like I do. Hope it’s not too much hassle for you to remember all that.
So, now you make the rolls. I’ve included some pictures, I think it’s pretty self-explanatory.
Make sense? Hope so. ‘Cause the more I explain, the more I realize that maybe this isn’t the easiest recipes to share. Especially now that I’m about to tell you the next step.
Take your mallet. (YES, I KNOW YOU PROBABLY DON’T HAVE A MALLET AT HOME! That’s what I was referring to in the previous paragraph) So, take anything heavy and hard, and preferably stainless steel so it doesn’t stick, and lightly tenderize your chicken fillets. You don’t want to be too gentle, though, you need to even out the breast. But, not too hard, the chicken cooks dry if it’s over-tenderized.
Now, place the breast so that the inside is down, and roll one of your centre rolls into the breast, creating this:
And bread it with a seasoned bread crumb. Hopefully, you have some on hand, Martha.
And, you’re done.
Ready for the oven.
Although, to be honest. Now that I’ve done this and written out the instructions, and realized how many steps use the amenities of my Schinkels’ workspace, maybe I was wrong. No one really wants to bother with making these at home. I mean, really, why would you? When all you have to do is step up to the counter and say,
“Could I have the Bacon Wrapped Greek Chicken, Please”
Why don’t you just try that next time you are in the store. Sounds a fair bit simpler.
Don’t worry. We have lots.
And will always make more.