Friday, October 3, 2008

Finally Fallish

So far this season very much non-fall like fall weather has been pretty consistent here in sunshiny San Diego aside from one day where we had a taste of not only temperatures that did not rise above 75 degrees but clouds and drizzle as well! In celebration of the start of this cooler fallish weather I rushed right home Friday evening after work and turned on my oven for an evening of roasting and baking.

Nothing says fall to me quite like slow roasted food. I love the way the house fills with the most delectable scent of whatever you are cooking and the cooler weather makes it so keeping the oven on for hours at a time is a toasty treat rather than a sweltering sauna. Tomatoes are still pretty scrumptious around here so of course I found a way to incorporate this delicious summer fruit into the first roasted dinner of the fall.

Roasted Stuffed Chicken with Potatoes and Tomatoes

Serves 4


Ingredients

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded flat
4 or 5 handfuls of fresh spinach, about ½ of one of those salad bags should be enough
½ cup of reduced fat feta
10 or so little red potatoes, cut in quarters
10 or 12 cherry tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
sea salt and pepper

Preparation

Heat the oven to 450 and set aside a baking dish large enough to hold all of the potatoes, tomatoes and chicken in a single layer. Combine the potatoes, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of the rosemary, all of the garlic except for about a ½ teaspoon (saved for the chicken), olive oil, sea salt and pepper in a large bowl tossing with your hands to get all the lovely bits of spice and oil on the potatoes and tomatoes. Pour this mixture into the baking dish, be sure to arrange the potatoes and tomatoes so there is an open space in the middle of the dish for the stuffed chicken you are going to prepare next.

After pounding the chicken breasts flat (I found the best way to do this is putting the chicken between two pieces of parchment paper and using the flat side of a meat tenderizer) cut the flattened chicken into 4 or 5 pieces, removing any unwanted bits of chicken and discarding. Take your flattened chicken and put in the middle a sprinkling of feta and a handful of spinach.


Roll this up and place with the opening side down in the baking dish. Once all the chicken pieces are stuffed drizzle the chicken with a bit of olive oil and season with the remainder of the garlic, fresh rosemary, sea salt and pepper.


Pop this in the oven and cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are done and the tomatoes start to pop and wrinkle up a bit.


All of the flavors melded together so deliciously! The sweet tomato juices combined with the rich feta and garlic added a most scrumptious flavor to both the chicken and the potatoes.

After a leisurely dinner it was back to the kitchen for me to work on an order of scones for a tea I volunteered to bake for. On the menu were more of the yummy pumpkin scones baked earlier in the week and a new recipe I mixed up on a whim wanting to make something that would pair perfectly with the pumpkin ones.

Maple Pecan Oat Scones with Maple Glaze


Soooooo yummy!!! The flavor of these reminds me exactly of these buttery Christmas ball cookies my family use to make every holiday. I immediately added them to the Mari Made Bakery menu and plan on tweaking the recipe slightly to make a festive holiday scone recipe come Christmas time.

Lucky for us the pleasant Friday evening fall weather lasted through the night and well into the following day which was perfect as we had plans to attend a very autumn activity come Saturday afternoon.

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