Friday, June 14, 2019

Roast Chicken Breasts with Oatmeal Stuffing

If my recipes seem a bit haphazard these days, it’s because much of my cooking items are packed away (I’m preparing to move, although it seems to be going in slow motion). That includes all my cookie sheets and racks, among other things. It’s not my fault! I’ve hired an efficient packing/shipping/
disposing crew who are very enthusiastic, and I can’t watch all of them at the same time, so I may never find some things. So I will cook with what I have, and don't expect any cookies soon.

My tiny Irish kitchen. Where am I going
to find room for things?
But I still have cookbooks! Including all my Irish ones. Is it absurd to ship all my Irish cookbooks to Ireland? At least over there I should be able to find all the ingredients, no matter what they are called. This is a modified recipe from one of those Irish cookbooks.

Roast Chicken Breasts with Oatmeal Stuffing

(the original recipe was for four pieces of chicken. I reduced it to two)

1 cup red wine
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 oz. butter (half a stick)
1-1/2 oz coarse oatmeal (not instant!)
1-1/2 Tblsp finely chopped parsley
2 chicken breasts, about 6-7 ounces, with skin and bones
Salt and pepper



Put the wine in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock and boil again until reduced by half (again). Set aside and keep warm.


 Melt 1 ounce of butter in a pan and fry the chopped onion. Stir in the oatmeal, parsley and seasoning. Let the mixture cool. (Note: Irish oatmeal is cut differently than the American version--it's more like chopped that rolled.)

Preparing the chicken:

Lay each breast on a cutting board, skin side down (the meat will be on the bottom). Cut a small pocket in the meat (do not cut through entirely!). Divide the stuffing in half and stuff in the pockets. (I used the small skewer to keep the stuffing in!)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Melt the rest of the butter in a sauté pan and brown the chicken pieces on both sides. Transfer them to a baking sheet and roast in the oven until they are cooked through (at least 1/2 hour, depending on the size of your chicken pieces).

Serve with Champ. Wait a minute—what’s Champ? It’s a traditional Irish potato dish, aka mashed potatoes made with milk, with herbs or almost anything you want added to it..


1 lb. potatoes
1/2 cup whole milk
Spring onions (that’s the traditional ingredient, but my supermarket didn’t have any, so I substituted fresh chives)
2 oz. butter
Salt and pepper


Wash the potatoes and boil them in their skins until tender. Drain them, then put them back in the pan and let them dry over low heat. When they are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and mash the potatoes well.

Put the milk and the chives in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer for a few minutes. Beat the mixture into the potatoes (not too much—you don’t want them soupy), then add the butter and beat it in. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place a generous scoop of Champ on a plate, and follow with a chicken breast. Spoon some of the wine/stock sauce over both and serve immediately.

Here's a sneak preview of the proposed cover of Fatal Roots, coming January 7, 2020, from Crooked Lane Books.


  1. Looking at your photo, I recognize the container of oatmeal. Irish oatmeal, not rolled oats (old fashioned nor instant).
    It manages to hydrate with this handling? Fun.

  2. Moving to Ireland? How wonderful that sounds! The packing up and then unpacking phases of a move are pretty daunting. There is that extended period of unpacking where one keeps thinking, "I know I have one, I just don't know where." Hope it all goes smoothly as possible.

    Oatmeal stuffing for Chicken sounds novel to me, but I have been trying to work more in healthy grains into my diet.