Ingredients: 6 boneless chicken breasts, 5 to 6 ounces each
1/2 cup finely chopped white mushrooms
1/2 cup fresh white bread crumbs (see Note, page XX)
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
5 tablespoons golden raisins
5 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 small Granny Smith apple, cored and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup Bunratty Mead
6 tablespoons unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter, melted
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
Fresh parsley sprigs for garnish
This dish is named in honor of Craggaunowen, the living past,
a heritage site near Quin, in County Clare. The site, which is operated by Shannon
Heritage, tells the story of the arrival of the Celts in Ireland and the many
changes they wrought upon daily life. A major feature of the visit is a crannog
(meaning 'young tree), which is a reconstructed lake dwelling
of a type found in Ireland during the Iron Age and early Christian periods.
The site also includes a ring fort, a true reproduction of a farmer's house,
an Iron Age roadway, and an outdoor cooking site. This recipe is modeled after
the chicken with apple and mead sauce served at the legendary medieval banquets
in the area, also operated by Shannon Heritage.
Preheat the oven to 350ΊF. Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish.
Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of wax paper and, with a mallet
or rolling pin, pound or roll them to 1/2-inch thickness. In a medium bowl,
combine the mushrooms, bread crumbs, tarragon, parsley, raisins, walnuts, apples,
and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 1/2 cup of the mead and 3 tablespoons
of the melted butter. If necessary, add a little more butter to moisten.
Lay the chicken breasts on a work surface and brush the tops with some of the
remaining melted butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place 1 tablespoon
of stuffing in the center of each breast. Fold in the sides, envelope style,
and roll up. Place seam side down in the prepared dish. Brush again with the
remaining melted butter and bake for 15 minutes. Mix the remaining 1/2 cup mead
with the chicken stock and pour over the chicken. Cook, basting 2 or 3 times,
for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove
from the oven and serve immediately with the sauce spooned over the top. Serve
with apple-potato cakes, if desired, and garnish with parsley sprigs.