Friday, 27 November 2015


“Herbs deserve to be used much more liberally.” - Yotam Ottolenghi

The recipe below is for a dish we used to enjoy when visiting a favourite restaurant of ours here in Melbourne. Unfortunately, the place changed hands and the menu also changed (for the worse!). However, we do make this dish at home and still enjoy it.

Sage & Spinach Chicken in Fyllo Pastry
2 chicken breasts
2 cupfuls blanched spinach
1 small round of camembert, sliced
Butter to brown the chicken in (as much as you will)
Sage, a little thyme, pepper, salt
Fyllo pastry (ready-made is good enough)
Mashed potato, snow peas (mange tout peas) and carrot straws to garnish

Wash the chicken fillets and remove all the skin and fat. Pound with a meat mallet so that they flatten out and become thin. Take each chicken fillet and spread thinly with the boiled, creamed spinach.  Overlay with the sliced camembert. Wrap each fillet in a Swiss roll fashion and secure with a toothpick. Warm the butter in a pan and add the herbs. Quickly put each chicken breast in the hot butter just to seal the juices in and then remove from the heat.

Spread out the fyllo pastry and brush with the butter left over from the browning of the chicken. This must be done quickly so that the pastry does not dry out (put a clean, damp kitchen towel over the pastry when you are not using it).  Lay three sheets of pastry over one another, brushing each with butter. Take the chicken rolls, remove the toothpick and wrap neatly and securely in the pastry. Put the chicken parcels in a baking tray, brush with butter and bake in a hot oven until the pastry is golden brown.  Garnish with mashed potato, snow peas and carrot straws, serving immediately.

Sage, Salvia officinalis, symbolises mutual love and domestic virtue.  The name of the plant is from the Latin salvere meaning “to be in good health”.  Sage is reputed to have wonderful medicinal properties as an old proverb attests:
He who would live for aye,
Must eat sage in May.

Sage is another of the herbs that is said to thrive best in the gardens of households where the wife rules. This often caused some husbands to cut down vigorous sage plants whilst shouting the following in full view of the amused neighbours:
    If the sage bush thrives and grows
    The master’s not master and he knows!

Astrologically, the herb is under Jupiter’s rule. The plant was long thought to soothe grief.

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1 comment:

  1. I will come, when the meal is ready! P.

    (I like the consequence in serving your blog - like a robot!.....)