A friend once pointed out to me that Russians like to stuff food inside other food. Hmm…I had to think for a minutes but I was quickly convinced in the truth of her observation after considering what we eat- Piroshki, Cabbage Rolls, Stuffed Peppers, Pelmeni, Vareniki-all these dishes is what makes Russian cuisine and all of them involve food inside more food. So it might come as no surprise to you that when I dreamt up a new recipe it would be something stuffed like chicken thighs stuffed with mushrooms and goat cheese, then I decided to wrap them in bacon to keep that stuffing safe and secure like little swaddled babies and because…well it’s delicious.
I’ve done something similar with pork chops and instagrammed it during our holiday in Yorkshire and so many of you loved the sight of it. I knew I had to blog it but that day when I woke up thinking about those chops it occurred to me that skinless boneless chicken thighs are perfect for stuffing. They already have that natural cavity from where the bone used to be plus they are very inexpensive. All I had to do was to think of what stuffing I would love and of course my mind turned to mushrooms and goat cheese.
I hope you are not thinking right now that you’d love someone else to make them for you because they look too fiddly. I promise you the most difficult part about making these little parcels of yum is wrapping bacon around chicken. The oven does all the work! Just imagine juicy chicken and creamy mushroom bites with smoky bacon to be your reward at the end. If you serve it at dinner party your guests will be SO impressed!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 100 g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2-3 sprigs of thyme
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp soft goat cheese
- 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 12 strips of streaky bacon
- Preheat oven to 450F/220C.
- Heat olive oil in a medium pan and cook the onion until tender over low heat for 5 minutes, add mushrooms, thyme leaves, a pinch of salt and pepper and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
- Put cooked mushrooms and onions in a food processor or blender and process until it's the same consistency as olive tapenade. Cool for 10 minutes.
- Mix mushroom and onion mixture with goat cheese.
- Lay out the chicken thighs flat on a cutting board smooth side down and spread 1 tbsp of mushroom and goat cheese mixture on each thigh and then wrap it tightly.
- Wrap two bacon strips around each chicken thigh and transfer it on baking pan seam side down.
- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, then turn the oven to broil/grill and broil for 2 more minutes until bacon is crispy.