We had some family over to eat this past Tuesday evening. Though we were still in a rather unsettled state due to unpacking and laundry from our vacation, I felt compelled to try out a new recipe for our company, and so I hunted through my various cookbooks for something enticing. I hit upon what I was looking for in Our Best Five-Star Recipes From Southern Living that my sis-in-law gave me a few years ago (thanks, Jennifer!). Everyone (including me!) loved the end result so much and it was so different from anything I’ve prepared in the past, that I wanted to share it with you. Maybe someone else will be able to enjoy it too before this wonderful grilling weather is gone. Ok, here’s the recipe:
6 whole chicken breasts, skinned and boned
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbls Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
10 green onions, sliced
12 slices bacon
Vegetable Cooking Spray
Hot Cooked Rice
(I’m going to slightly paraphrase the directions for my own purposes!)
Pound chicken to 1/4″ thickness and place in a large shallow baking dish. Combine molasses and next 6 ingredients; stir well. Pour over chicken; cover and marinate in fridge 8 hours, turning chicken occasionally.
Melt butter in large skillet; add mushrooms and next 3 ingredients. Cook over med-high heat until liquid evaporates and veggies are tender, stirring often.
Remove chicken from baking dish, reserving marinade. Pour marinade into a small saucepan, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside. For each chicken bundle, place 2 slices bacon in a crisscross pattern on a flat surface. Place 1 chicken breast in center of bacon. Top with 3 tablespoons mushroom mixture. Fold sides and ends of chicken over mushroom mixture to make a square-shaped pouch. Pull bacon around chicken, and tie ends of bacon together; secure with wooden picks.
Coat grill with cooking spray. Place chicken bundles on grill, tied side up; grill, covered with grill lid, over low coals 30 to 45 minutes or until done, turning and basting with reserved marinade every 15 minutes. Remove wooden picks. Serve over hot cooked rice, if desired. Yield: 6 servings.
IMHO, this recipe is too salty, and I say this having used low sodium soy sauce. Next time I make it, I would plan to still use the liter soy sauce, and also cut the amount of soy in the marinade, maybe as much as half. It’s just not needed given the great amount of flavor, and the additional saltiness the bacon adds. If you need to make up some of the liquid from leaving out the soy, throw in some wine for good measure!
Instead of green onions, I used garlic chives from my garden which worked well too. However, they might not be quite as strong tasting as the onions the recipe called for.
I added some white wine into my mushroom mixture while sauteeing. Just for fun!
Regarding the assembling of the bundles: I found that using a toothpick or two to secure the chicken BEFORE I tied the bacon around the sides was actually helpful. There were a couple more toothpicks in my bundles, but they stayed together beautifully.