15.3.10

Jack by the Hedge or Garlic Mustard Chicken Kiev - Recipes

So I had to go out and have a look around.. It’s that time of the year and I was wondering if any Morels were showing yet. Spring really is late this year, not even the Daffodils are flowering –the Winter just seems to be dragging on! Just a quick walk then to see if anything was showing!!

I went to a trusty location of mine (you’ll have to find your own), where I knew mushrooms had been to have a look, but no luck. What I found was plenty Wild Primrose (in flower) and lots and lots of Jack by the Hedge otherwise known as Garlic Mustard. Small leaves but lots and of it!! The leaves were still relatively small but that unmistakable sweet garlicky smell was prevalent when I crushed the leaves between my fingers. I had a bag with me so I collected two or three good handfuls of leaves and brought them home to cook one of my favourite things, Wild Garlic Mustard Chicken Kiev!

So here it is, you must try this for two reasons. The first is that the leaves are so easy to identify, find and collect. The second and the main reason is because it tastes absolutely delicious!! This Wild Food recipe is in two stages; first the butter and then the Kiev. There is always butter left and this can be kept in your freezer and served on a steak or even added to boiled vegetables, whatever you like!! First the butter…

Garlic Mustard Butter:
1 pack of unsalted butter
2 to 3 handfuls of young green Garlic Mustard leaves
Zest of a Lemon
Juice of half a lemon
Maldon Salt
Black Pepper

It’s this simple, chop your butter and put it in your blender. Zest the lemon into the butter and then squeeze in the juice of one half. Put plenty of seasoning into the butter and then blend. A few spins should do it! Then add the Garlic Mustard leaves and spin the blender two or three more times. What you are after is a rough chop (not pulverised) with the leaves nicely dispersed through the butter - if you need to, give it another couple of spins.

Now prepare a double thickness of cling film and place the butter on the cling film in the shape of a thick sausage. Roll the cling film over the butter, again trying to create a thick sausage and then pinch and turn the ends in.. Put in the freezer, Garlic Mustard Butter done!

Chicken Kiev:
4 x Free Range, Organic Chicken Breasts
Maldon Salt
Black Pepper

For the Bread Crumb coating:
Two stale Bread Rolls (crumbed)
1 Large Egg
50g of Flour

Please use quality chicken breast for this one, there are so few flavours included within a Kiev you want everyone of them to sing!!

This is the most fiddly bit!! Take the Chicken breasts and lay them on a chopping board in front of you. Now remove the small fillet from the back of the Chicken and set aside. The big fillet needs to have a pocket cut into it. You need to cut along one side – being careful not to cut through the fillet. Make as deep a pocket as you dare and try not to cut through the fillet, then repeat to the other three pieces of Chicken. Now, the little fillets that you first removed need to be flattened out, I use the side of my knife however if you don’t feel confident why not place them between some cling film and use a rolling pin to gently beat them flat.

Get your oven on to 200 degrees.

Now, get your butter out of the freezer. Cut into about two maybe three 1cm slices depending on the size of your chicken fillets and place the butter slices inside each. Each Chicken fillet should have two or three slices of the Garlic Mustard butter within it, close and the cover the gap with the small flattened fillet. Repeat until you have prepared all four fillets.

Meanwhile, get out three plates. Place the flour on one, a beaten egg on another and the bread crumbs on the third. Season the stuffed Chicken breasts and one at a time roll the Chicken breast in the flour, then the egg and then in the bread crumbs making sure that the Chicken is entirely covered in all three layers.

Heat some Olive Oil in a frying pan big enough to take two of the breasts (only do two at a time as the bread crumbs cook quickly!), fry the Kiev’s off until the breadcrumbs are golden on both sides place the fried Kiev on the tray in the oven and then repeat the process with the second two Garlic Mustard Chicken Kiev’s.

Place all four of the Kiev’s in the oven for around 10 minutes – until cooked! Then serve with mustard mash and minted peas.

Satisfaction is when you cut through a Kiev and the Herby perfumed butter pours out!

You will want to cook this again and again and potentially, if you knew how tasty it was, I am sure that you would have been out at the weekend gathering the ever so common, yet ever so tasty 'Jack by the Hedge' as well!!

Enjoy!

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