For a while now, I’ve been considering making a millefeuille – a kind of stacked tower of ingredients. I guess I’d put it off because of my fear of all things complicated with french names – bain marie, tarte tatin….and all the rest. However, I was feeling very confident that success was close by and feeling the need to apprehend it, I got about a-thinking and decided that a chicken version would do. That was one part.
Then I thought of incorporating some Caprese ingredients of Italia -green basil, white mozzarella and red tomatoes aka pomodori.
Of course, the planning started earlier this morning when I tumbled out of bed and hauled a pack of chicken breasts out of the deep freezer, in true GKT style. On my way home, I stopped by the supermarket to get some mozarella. Infact, I struggled with whether or not to include it thinking it would be too rich but the soft, mild texture and taste went very well with the plan and I’m glad I gave in. After all what is a Caprese without mozzarella? A cheese salad, and that was not the plan! So, since I’d seen sweet and savoury versions of my proposed tower stack, some with pastry, some without, I set about my business using some roasted tomatoes.
Roasted tomatoes. Soft and chewy, fragrant with the dried herbs and roasted garlic and ready to eat. See, the week before, I’d gone to Sligro and they had a whole box of snack tomatoes on offer for just 5 euros. A whole box. Of course, bargain hunter and tomato lover that I am, I brought home 1 box – only 1 box. Then my sister and her family came for the weekend and I didn’t get round to doing anything with the tomatoes. I had some ideas but just none that had taken firm root. Till, I stopped by at 990 square and the trigger went off, with a bang. So yesterday, I finally settled down to roast them.
I got a-roasting and 3 hours later I was done. At that precise moment – as most momentous events go, O came in to the kitchen hungry for food. He tasted one tomato and before I knew what was happening, he had some brown bread slices, lined with the some warm tomatoes, topped with grated gouda cheese.
And then he sat down to eat. Each mouthful was punctuated by wow, yes, lovely…and on and on he went. It didn’t end there. The next thing was he started reeling off dishes that these would be well-paired with, never mind that they probably wouldn’t last long to be matched with anything considering the rate of being eaten. It would be lovely with that Ling Cartoccio. I joined in – yes, just before the pockets go in the oven and he said, no, on the side. OK. I couldn’t argue. The next was, it would be lovely in rice, quick & simple. At this point, I decided to just listen, look the guy was on a roll, nothing could stop him. When he was spent, I finished off by saying I thought it would be lovely in some pasta salad with pesto and he agreed, thankfully!
Of course this set me thinking of how best to use them. I had to. I mean I love tomatoes and I love partly-dried tomatoes. You know, tomatoes that are soft with a bit of bite and chew yet juicy. I find that sun-dried tomatoes put me off – the flavour is too intense and the texture too chewy. I guess making my own sorts it all out. I kneew for sure they Id be able to take them out of the oven when they had reached the texture I longed for. And so the millefeuille was born. To be savoured. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
You can find out how to oven-roast tomatoes – here
Chicken breasts are easier to slice when they are slightly frozen. If your breasts are fresh, try freezing for an hour or so and then slice
How to make the Chicken Caprese MillefeuilleFor adults, I serve one chicken breast per person. The ingredient list below is a guide for 2. 2 chicken breasts, fresh or thawed if frozen 2 – 3 Tablespoons of Pesto or Pistou (Pesto without the olive oil and parmesan) 12 largeish basil leaves or 24 smaller ones About 16 oven-dried tomato halves 75 – 100g of a Mozzarella log, cut into thinnish rounds (of the water-soaked variety; if rounds are too thin, they tend to break) Salt and pepper to season
Prepare the chicken breast by removing the little trailing piece on the underside of the breast (usually a long strip of chicken meat hanging loosely). Slice breast lengthways into 3 slices and season
Heat up a grill pan and using the semi-conserva , grease the pan.
Place chicken and fry on both sides – 3 to 4 minutes on each side, till cooked. Remove from pan and let rest for a couple of minutes. Then set about layering . Best to do this on to your serving plate or dish.
Place one cooked chicken slice on a plate and butter with pesto
Place a couple of mozzarella rounds on top and layer with basil leaves and the roasted tomatoes. Repeat layer on top till a second stack is complete.
Before you do that though, admire it from side to side
Finish off each breast in this manner. Serve as you like…glass of white, some pasta on the side, green salad….
Whatever you decide, enjoy it and tell me what you think goes best with it. Peace and love.
I wanted to say as well that you could make a fish caprese millefeuile – all you need: cooked fish fillets – tilapia and seabass would be my top options. I think skinless would be great but…. Also, you could use slivers of smoked salmon in place of the chicken.
To make a vegetable caprese millefeuile, grill or fry slices of aubergines or courgettes and then layer. You could also try the traditional tomato and my thoughts are that roasted/pan fried pumpkin slices would be delish!
Enjoy whatever you make.