Stuffed Chicken Breasts

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-1-53-37-pmPeppadew is a proudly South African product and a great option to stuff chicken breasts with for a braai. Naturally this tripartite alliance isn’t complete without some feta cheese. The flavours of this recipe work well together and the braai part of it is also pretty straightforward. The tricky part is making the incision in the chicken breasts to stuff them. Use a very sharp knife and please be careful. To wrap them up you use normal white string. Don’t attempt to close them with toothpicks – that’s for kitchen cooking, not for the braai. This recipe is much easier than it might sound so if you’ve never stuffed and braaied chicken breasts, give it a go!

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 4)

  • 4 chicken breast fillets
  • 8 peppadews (mild sweet piquante peppers, chopped)
  • 2 wheels feta cheese (about 150 g, crumbled)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tot olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • honey (optional)
  • normal white string

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Cut at least 20 pieces of string, each one long enough to go around a chicken breast fillet and also to then make a knot with.
  2. Use a heavy object like a meat mallet or bottle of wine and gently whack the thick bulky part of each chicken breast once so that they drop their attitude.
  3. Use a very sharp knife (the sharper the safer) and open the chicken breasts one by one. Start by making an incision from the side, right in the middle of the thickest part and work your way in from there. Take care not to cut through either of the sides or the back ‘spine’ of the meat. You want to create a pocket that can be filled, and the bigger the pocket the more filling! Realistically you might knick and breach a side wall of a piece of meat here and there. This is not a crisis and can be fixed when you wrap them up with the string.
  4. Mix the chopped peppadews and feta together and stuff the chicken breasts with the mixture.
  5. Secure the breasts with string to keep it all together. I find that 5 pieces of string per chicken breast do the trick and ensure a hassle-free braai process. Wherever you knicked an outside wall of the chicken and the stuffing wants to escape, simply pull some adjacent meat over the hole and tie string tightly around it at that point. Once done, use scissors to cut off any long excess pieces of string from the knots.
  6. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over each piece of meat, drizzle with olive oil so that it does not stick to the grid, and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Braai over medium heat for about 20 minutes until cooked through. The braai process of a stuffed chicken breast is more like braaing chicken drumsticks and thighs than like braaing flat chicken breast fillets. In other words use moderate heat, go slowly and turn often.
  8. During the final minutes of the braai you can paint the chicken breasts with honey as this will cause a nice caramelisation on their surface and make them look cool on your photos.
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