Stuffing chicken with this green pepper paste definitely spells Tuscany.
It is often a go-to recipe for a quick weeknight meal, along with a steamed vegetable. I usually use the grated peel of a fresh lemon for the pesto and I omit the bacon, but last week-end, I looked at what I had in the fridge, felt creative, and came up with this dish that we enjoyed very much.
I admit that using preserved lemons and Canadian bacon is not very Italian, but all the flavours complemented each other very well and the result was a complex and memorable entrée that I will surely make again soon. Hope you will enjoy it.
6 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
6 slices smoked bacon
2/3 sweet green bell pepper
1 1/2 slice of bread, torn
1 tablespoon preserved lemon peel, chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons dry white wine
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
2 handfuls of green olives, pitted
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
1. Make the stuffing: in the bowl of a small food processor, combine the green pepper, the bread and the preserved lemon peel and add a pinch of salt. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil gradually until a thick paste forms. Scrape the sides of the bowl and combine again. The paste should be rather thick at this point. If it looks too watery, add more bread. Taste and adjust for salt.
2. Take the chicken thighs and pound them lightly. Season with salt and pepper inside and out. Divide the filling between the six chicken thighs and bring the sides together, leaving the seam upward.
3. Take one bacon slice and wrap it around the chicken bundle. Cut off the excess and use this piece to cover it. Tie each bundle with kitchen twine.
4. Place the chicken bundles in an oven-proof dish and add the white wine. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
5. Add the artichoke hearts and the olives and cook for 20 more minutes.
6. Take the dish out of the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before enjoying with a glass of white wine. A French Jura wine would be perfect here.