My Little Wrap of Joy…

Tuesday, 6 January 2009, 6:05 | Category : Chicken/Poultry Recipes, Pasta/Italian, Uncategorized
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I am not sure if I am really going to do this, but I feel like doing it.

I am thinking of Banning all Kraft Products from my home. Thinking about it… Not sure if I could really do it. Just thinking about it.

Let me explain…

About a month ago, I learned about a Kraft Video Recipe Contest whereby you were to videotape yourself cooking one of their recipes. There were 10 choices and I chose their ‘Chicken Parmesan Bundles’. Now, prior to that I had the idea that I would never show my face in one of my videos… shooting them after work, worrying about hair, makeup, lighting… clothes… God, what a pain! But the Kraft Video Challenge, and my greed (you could win $1,000), changed my mind, almost immediately.

I spent hours… I mean hours, upon hours, filming myself cooking their damned bundles. I cooked the meal three times in three days! First time, I sucked. Second time, I realized the lighting sucked. I went and bought flood lights from Home Depot. Third time, I knew the recipe by heart, and the lighting was better, so I took 35 minutes of film and over the course of days… Days… Days… slowly, and painstakingly, edited it all down to less than 3 minutes. I went with a faster speed to include everything important, and eliminated almost all of my talking… I added music. In the end I had to skip out on some really funny parts, and whileI was happy with the entry… I cheated everyone out of an incredible cooking technique that I have wanted to share since I learned it from my ‘Night Cooking with Carlos Manriquez’, and my true personality… which you can see slowly change from the beginning of the following video… to the end. So you have to watch the whole thing to see who I really am…

Why would I ban all Kraft products from my home? Because I didn’t win, of course! Not only did I not win, but the guy who won, also won in another recipe category, so he got $2,000!.. I must say, it’s not the money that I begrudge, but the judges for their choice.

The video that won was… um, how do I say this and still be politically correct? The video that won was… just… stupid. The guy was weird. He did this weird ‘Mew’… not a Meow, but a ‘Mew’ sound that totally creeped me out about half way through his video. Let’s just say it this way. I don’t know him, and he might be the nicest guy in the world, but if that video was a resume, I would never let him marry my daughter, or babysit my children.

There. I said it. Without saying it. But I said it. Very proud. Very Politically Correct. I would never let that man take care of my child in my absence.

OK… I am getting off-point.

So the cooking technique that Carlos taught me, that I used in that video, is the most fascinating, the most fantastic cooking technique I have run in to in years.

You actually Boil the chicken, and while that brings up images of bland, dry, flavorless meat, this technique defies all of that.

This chicken is tender, and full of flavor, and not only presentable for guests, but something I would pay for again and again in a restaurant if I didn’t know how to cook it myself.

I do want to include here that Chicken is the most industrious meat of all the meats that we cook in America. It can be Baked, Sauteed, Fried, Poached, Steamed, Beaten, Pounded, and Shredded into our submission. It is pairable with Shrimp, Crab, Salami, Bacon, Scallops, and even hamburger. It can substitute for most other meats and can be seasoned with everything from dijon mustard and white wine, to BBQ Sauce, not to mention all of the herbs that can compliment it. By the way, there is even Chicken Fried Steak, which isn’t Chicken OR Steak by any means of my assessment, but a popular dish at Denny’s.

It is used in almost EVERY country, and every quisine, and each one of those makes a different dish with a completely different flavor. If chicken is not cooked in every country, it’s only because they don’t have chickens.

In many ways, chicken is even included, not only as a staple in our quest to lose weight, but also considered a healthy alternative to other meats.

I know… I know… Steak, ‘Good’ Steak, can be pairable to all of those ingredients as well, but it can’t be poached or steamed, and is not low in fat, and is not recommended as a healthy alternative to anything.

Long live Chicken!

With all of that being said, I have started the video without including the original ingredients. While the Kraft ingredients were OK… they were ametuer. So, I started the video AFTER the ingredients that you roll the chicken around. I have done this, because almost anything could be added as the filler of this technique.

The staple to this recipe is cream cheese, and any kind of grated or crumbled cheese that you want. The grated cheese just adds some ‘glue’ to the mix.

The other night I took 2 ‘very pounded’ (read: 1/4″) chicken breasts, and lined them with Hard Salami Deli Slices from Safeway’s Deli (much better than Kraft), and added a mixture of 4oz Cream Cheese (1/2 brick), about 3/4 cup Grated Italian Cheese Blend, 1/2 can Drained Canned Spinach, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, and about 2 tblspn’s of a store bought Tapenade with Feta Cheese.

I mixed the filling ingreients up well, put about an inch thick log of it down the center of very pounded chicken breast and wrapped it up in it’s nice little ’self cooking roll’ and boiled it for 25 minutes.

I sliced the rolls (one whole breast, 2 halves… = 2 rolls) into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and served them over pasta and a red sauce.

First of all, if you don’t have a particularly HUGE appetite, then one chicken breast half can feed two people for a good sized dinner portion. I had another whole roll left over, which was eaten in increments of 4 meals. Two Chicken Breast made 4 to 5 meals, with a little pasta, and a good Red Sauce.

The following video will show you definitively how to accomplish this technique in your own kitchen, and then I follow with a pleathora of ingredients that you could roll up into this little ‘Wrap of Joy’.

The base for this recipe is a filling that has 2 parts cream cheese to one part grated cheese. After that you could add almost anything, and serve over, or with, any side dish… be it pasta, potatoes, or rice.

You could add:

Any kind of Cheese
Artichoke Hearts
Canadian Bacon
Fresh herbs of any kind
Dried Herbs of any kind
A plethora of vegetables from Asparagus, to spinach, to cauliflower
A multitude of tapenade flavors
olives of any sort
White Fish…

Please see This Post to see what Carlos Manriquez did with this technique… his had Shrimp, and Coconut Milk, and Cilantro and… God it was good!

You can come up with your own…! Just let me know what you did with this!
I want to hear the results!

3 Comments for “My Little Wrap of Joy…”

  1. 1Danielle

    I LOVE it! You made it look easy, and I have to say in a million years I never would have thought of boiling chicken like that. Your vidoes are great,and you look SUPER relaxed and happy. AZ is definitely agreeing with you, however a visit to Seattle would be GREATLY appreciated!

  2. 2Bo Schinski

    I was so happy to find this on Youtube! What an imaginative technique! I prepared this with GREAT SUCCESS for a dinner party and sent an email to my daughters so they can try it. Simple, inexpensive and impressive! And so much flexibility too!

    OMG, I’m running out of exclamation points!


  3. 3King

    Shoot, who would have thouhgt that it was that easy?

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