I miss the fragrant smell of autumn in the air. I long to have the crisp leaves crunching under my feet as I walk through the park. I can no longer hear the roar of the crowds from the Big Ten Michigan Football Stadium all the way here in Hong Kong.
I can however enjoy the ride on the city tram (trolley) all the way from Kennedy town to Shek Kei Wan for just $2.30 HKD or about $0.30 USD. Hong Kong Tramway is the world’s largest fleet of double-deck tramcars still in operation, carrying an average of 230,000 passengers every day.
There is something magical about riding the tram and it makes me feel like we have gone back in time. The conductor sits proudly in his seat as he stops to pick up new passengers and then rings his bell… Ding, Ding, Ding goes the Trolley… As the tram passes along the road your can see all the buildings, millions of people and colorful rainbow of sites such wet markets and the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong life.
If you are looking for something fast to get you someplace quickly this is not your mode of transportation as it goes slow, stops every stop along the way and there is no aircon so you don’t want to be on this tram too long on those hot summer days. However with fall rolling in, there is a slight breeze and it is perfect for tram ride and a delightful baked meal.
I made a delicious meal with a stuffed chicken breasts with spinach, roasted red and yellow peppers, feta cheese with a carmalized onion and mushroom confetti with herbs, butter and a little white wine all rolled up and wrapped in a blanket of Italian prosciutto.
When you slice into these beautiful pieces of art it looks like a mozaic of colors then topped it off with a simple sauce de jour. A slice of the stuffed chicken breast reminds me of the bright bulletin boards and signs on all of the trams. Each of the trams are a different color and are painted and covered with advertisement.
For my picky teenage boys I stuffed their chicken breasts with salami, mozzarella cheese and herbs and rolled it up and wrapped it up in bacon. Bacon is like one of the main food categories for teenagers and there is nothing green near or inside their chicken so they were quite happy. This option is perfect for the carnivores in your family.
You can really use your imagination and stuff your chicken breast with whatever your little heart desires. Maybe you want to go a little sweet and stuff them with couscous with apricots and dates and nuts and herbs. Maybe you want to go with a Spanish flare and fill with chorizo, olives and rice.
How about go tropical and stuff chicken breasts with slices of ham, pineapple and my Hawaiian Luau rice http://bamskitchen.com/dietary-restrictions/glutenfree/hawaiian-luau-rice/. The only rule here is that you need to wrap your final product in either prosciutto, bacon or some kind of pork so that the final product stays moist and delicious.
The beauty of this dish is you do all the prep either the day before or earlier in the morning before you start your day. The fall is busy and you need something for dinners and weekends that you can just pop in the oven.
However the reason why I love this dish so much is that it is impressive. If you need to host a gathering at your home or even for your family in the weekend this is a lovely meal that will always get ohhs and ahhs from your guests.
Stuffed chicken breasts with spinach, roasted red and yellow peppers, feta cheese with a carmalized onion and mushroom confetti with herbs, butter and a little white wine all rolled up and wrapped in a blanket of Italian proscuitto and topped it off with a simple sauce de jour.
- Chicken Breasts - 3 fillet open and pounded flat
- spinach - 1.5 cups of frozen spinach thawed and squeezed to remove all the water
- roasted peppers - 3 red or yellow roasted
- olive oil - 1 tablespoon
- garlic - 2 cloves crushed and chopped
- butter - 1 teaspoon
- onion - 1/2 small onion or about 1/4 cup chopped
- mushrooms - 1.5 cups finely diced (I used button mushrooms)
- salt and pepper - to taste
- thyme - 1 teaspoon
- white wine - 1/8 cup and a splash for the gravy
- feta cheese - 1/2 cup crumbled
- proscuitto - 2 packages
- olive oil - 1 tablespoon
- butter - 1-2 teaspoons
Step 1: Lay your whole chicken breasts out on your chopping board and note there is a large and small portion to the breast. Take your sharp knife and cut along the large portion of the breast about 1/2 inch down and across and open up the breast. Keep making small slits in the chicken breast not cutting through the breast but just allow it to open up so can make it flat and fillet it open a little at a time. The goal is to make a large flat piece of chicken breast so that you can stuff it with lots of delicious fillings.
Step 2: Place a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken and pound until flat. I used an old rolling pin so choose your weapon of choice for this job. Season chicken breasts with a little salt and pepper.
Step 3: You can either use fresh steamed spinach or frozen spinach which you have unthawed and squeezed tightly to remove all of the juices. Place a thin layer of spinach over the prepared chicken breasts.
Step 4: Place a layer of roasted red or yellow peppers over the spinach. Set aside.
Step 5: In a small pan place a little olive oil, butter, onions and garlic and saute until onions are caramalized. Add the chopped mushrooms and a splash of white wine, fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Saute until mushrooms are tender and slightly golden. Place a thin layer of sauteed mushroom and onions over the roasted red peppers that are stacked on top of the spinach on the chicken breast. Top with a thin layer of feta cheese.
Step 6: Roll your chicken breast tightly and tuck in the edges. Wrap each stuffed chicken breast with enough proscuitto to completely cover and protect the chicken breast by overlapping the proscuitto slices.
Step 7: Roll and wrap tightly your proscuitto covered stuffed chicken breasts with plastic wrap and twists the sides so it is so tight it looks like a sausage. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour or up to overnight. This step makes your stuffed chicken breasts into a wonderful beautiful compact mozaic piece of art.
Step 8: Preheat your oven to 190 Celsius or about 375 degrees F.
Step 9: Take your proscuitto wrapped chicken rolls out of the refrigerator. Carefully remove the plastic wrap and wrap baking twine from end to end to secure. Dont even think about stabbing this wonderful mozaic with toothpicks. (I cannot find bakers twine in Hong Kong but a great substitute is tooth floss, just dont use the minty fresh or bubblegum flavored kind...) Place a dash of steak seasoning on top
Step 10:Drizzle a little olive oil into a pan. On medium high heat on the stove top brown your proscuitto wrapped stuffed chicken rolls on all sides. (If you use an oven proof skillet, then you can directly pop it in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the juices run clear.) If you don't have an oven proof skillet, transfer your little chicken bundles to a pre-greased oven pan. Do not wash those pans yet!!!
Step 11: Take your cooked chicken out of the skillet and keep warm. Place your skillet back on the burner. Add a splash of wine to deglaze the pan. Add about 1/2 cup water, salt and pepper to taste. Let it reduce by half. Add about 1-2 teaspoons of butter and stir gently. Remove from heat.
Step 12: Slice the proscuitto wrapped stuffed chicken into slices about 1/2 thick and drizzle the delightful sauce de jour on top. Enjoy!