fondue-stuffed chicken baked in bread recipe

fondue_chicken_baked_in_bread

Fondue-Stuffed Chicken Baked in Bread

My last post was a recipe for the Wine Dive Challenge through 37 Cooks. But that wasn’t my only dish inspired by the Wine Dive. While the restaurant’s Florida location inspired my seafood dish, this one came straight from the wine. I thought about classic dishes that incorporated wine, and wondered which ones could be amped up to include something else.

One of my favorite food memories was the first time I tried fondue. It was during my junior year of college at my adviser’s house. She was a writing professor, but she managed to pull off some awesome courses that incorporated her love of fine food. In one such class, she teamed up with a chemistry professor and we learned the science of cheesemaking while sampling dozens of fine offerings from Zimmerman’s. I remember my professor pouring wine into the fondue pot, while we underage students eyed each other nervously and hoped we’d be able to try the alcoholic concoction. Of course we scraped up every bit of melty cheese using chunks torn from bread that our professor had baked herself. Man, I miss college.

This dish makes a neat package of those classic flavors. Wrapped in a bread crust, chicken and fondue make a perfect pair. You can omit the apple if you’d like but it does add a nice contrast to the savory cheese flavors. I love these chicken rolls served alongside broccoli and cauliflower, another traditional fondue accompaniment that’s even better when enlivened with garlic.

Fondue-Stuffed Chicken in Bread Crust with Garlicky Broccoli and Cauliflower
serves four

For bread crust:
20 ounces bread flour
12 ounces water
1 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast

In a large bowl or a stand mixer, combine all ingredients. Mix with a spoon (or the paddle attachment) until uniform. When blended, knead by hand on a floured surface for about ten minutes (or with the dough hook for five minutes or so). Mist the dough ball with olive oil and place in a covered bowl to rest while you complete the rest of the prep. You could also do this the day before. Just be sure to take the dough out an hour or two before you want to cook.

For fondue-stuffed chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces Gruyere or Emmenthaler cheese, or a mixture of the two
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 clove peeled garlic
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon kirsch
1/2 cup chopped Granny Smith apple
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 egg and 1 tablespoon water, optional

Slice each chicken breast lengthwise, beginning from the thin side. Cut horizontally not quite through, leaving the last part intact, so that the breast opens up like a book. Lay the breast flat, sandwiched between plastic wrap, and pound until the breast is thin and as even as you can make it. Season breasts with salt, pepper, and parsley.

Rub the raw peeled garlic clove around the sides and bottom of a medium saucepan. Add the cheese, wine, cornstarch, and kirsch to the pan. Over low heat, stir constantly until a smooth sauce forms. It will be thick due to the cornstarch.

Now, assemble the chicken rolls. Open each pounded chicken breast and spread fondue sauce and a fourth of the apple mixture on top, then roll it up.

Divide the bread dough into four portions. Stretch each portion out like pizza dough, and place a chicken roll inside. Seal the edges of the dough around the roll. If desired, mix the egg and water together and then brush with egg wash. Use a sharp knife to cut a little vent on top of each. Place rolls onto a sheet pan and bake at 300 for 20-30 minutes, or until 160F inside.

For Garlicky Broccoli and Cauliflower:
1/2 head broccoli
1/2 head cauliflower
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into bite-size florets, then steam for about five minutes (until crisp-tender). Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the butter, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper over medium-low heat. When the garlic is fragrant, turn off the heat. Toss steamed veggies in the garlic oil, then serve alongside the chicken.

Enjoy!

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