ann thorne's chicken with saffron rice and tomato pudding

Main dish
Country liv
4 servings
4 ounces Soft-spreadable cheese with garlic and herbs
Whole chicken breasts, boned, halved, and skin removed
1 teaspoon Dried tarragon leaves
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Garlic powder
1 can 28 oz Whole peeled tomatoes, drained and coarsley chopped
2 slices White bread, crusts removed and discarded, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1¼ cup Water
¾ cup Long-grained white rice, uncooked
¼ cup Frozen green peas
5 tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces
¼ cup White wine
12 mediums Mushrooms, stems removed and discarded (or save stems to flavor soups and stews)
3 tablespoons Chopped pitted ripe olives
  Fresh thyme sprigs (opt.)
Celery stalk, chopped
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Dried oregano leaves
¼ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Packaged seasoned bread crumbs
½ teaspoon Saffron threads, crushed
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon White ground pepper
1 tablespoon Butter or margarine



1. Heat oven to 325'F. Prepare Tomato Pudding and Saffron Rice.

2. Meanwhile, grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Spread cheese under the flap of flesh (the tenderloin) on the un- derside of the chicken breast halves, replacing tenderloin to cover cheese. (If the tenderloin is removed from the breasts cut a thin flap into the underside of each breast to make a pocket for the cheese.) Place breasts, cheese side down, into baking pan.

3. In small bowl, combine tarragon, salt, and garlic powder; sprinkle tarragon mixture and 4 T butter over tops of chicken breasts. Pour wine into baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until breasts are firm to touch and cooked through.

4. Meanwhile, in large skillet, saute mushrooms in remaining 1 T butter until golden. Fill mushroom-cap cavities with chopped olives.

During last 5 minutes of baking, place mushroom caps, olive side up, into baking pan with chicken.

5. Just before serving, with sharp knife, make 4 partial crosswise cuts through each chicken breast, leaving V4 inch at thicker edge uncut. Spoon rice onto 4 serving plates. On each plate, fan out a chicken breast over the rice. Place 3 stuffed mushrooms and spoon some To- mato Pudding on one side of rice. Garnish plates with thyme sprigs, if desired.

Tomato Pudding: In 1-quart casserole, combine tomatoes, white bread, onion, celery, sugar, oregano leaves, salt, and ground black pepper.

Sprinkle top of tomato mixture with seasoned bread crumbs.

Bake at 325'F for 1 hour.

Saffron Rice: In 1-quart casserole, combine water, rice, frozen green peas, saffron threads, salt, and ground white pepper. Cover with aluminum foil or lid and bake at 325'F for 45 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in butter or margarine.

Country Living/Sept/90 Scanned & fixed by DP & GG

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