The Way To A Woman's Heart--A Stuffed Chicken Special

I will tell you a secret. 

Am thoroughly confused about Valentine's Day.

Blame it on my crazy Libra scales. 

Every year around Valentine's Day I am torn between the romantic and the cynic. 

And hang somewhere in between!

Blasted confusion!

Rationally, I totally agree with the cynics or the non believers or the critical or the  I-do-not-like-popular-culture types or the romantically challenged (this phrase is borrowed from a friend) or whatever you call yourself . Lets face it. Val Day has gone horribly commercial. It has become a money making hoopla for the flower & balloon sellers, card & chocolate & condom companies, restaurants, gift shops and a whole lot other retailers. Media goes on and on about it as if all the problems of the world have vanished. I find myself nodding my head when someone says that you should be loving your partner 365 days a year and not go over board this one day. I completely understand when a friend says Valentine's Day makes singles stressed and depressed! Sailed in that boat too. So true, each and every point and all the other points you have mentioned and I have missed here.

Then I read the romantics oohing, ahhhhhing, coochie cooing about roses (albeit genetically modified), anything and everything heart shaped (and sometimes downright ugly), candlelight dinners, loving partners, romantic gifts and my heart kinda gives a tug. Just a tug, mind you. I read a badly written love poem/letter/bog post and while otherwise I would have just closed the link, near to this day, I smile indulgently.  I heart romantic cards. And the lovely flower bouquets (but cringe at their exorbitant prices). I like the idea that the world for at least one day is talking about love and not war. I love the way all the food bloggers baked chocolate goodies and/or cheese cakes in honour of the special day! I got to drool over the photos, which is the next best thing to eating them. I grab the excuse this day provides to gorge on chocolates and other yummy desserts! I love reading a spunky romantic novel.

The girl who grew up on a staple of M&Bs, gets swayed.

Then I sway right back. 

I am sure Saint Valentine did not plan it this way (lets give him some benefit of doubt), but this has become a pretty excluding kind of celebration. The invisible line between those smugly married/in relationship (borrowed from Bridget Jone's Diary, second part I think) and the singles of the world becomes really apparent on this day. Its like 'mere pas pyar hain, tumhare pas kya hain?' (borrowed from Deewaar, where else) [For the uninitiated there is a very popular Hindi movie called Deewaar, where one brother flaunts his success to the other brother. Roughly translated this line meanly 'I have love, what do you have?' You can find more details about the movie here.] While starting and maintaining relationships are getting more and more difficult in this complex world, Valentine madness is on the rise. No longer do you celebrate privately, you need to share it with the whole wide world through all the social media on your finger tips. This kind of sends the singles tipping into deeper depths of depression. 

But I would be lying if I say I do not enjoy all the extra efforts my husband makes on Val Days. I would definitely be dishonest if I said his efforts does not make me feel precious or cherished or special. 

My friend in her Facebook note says '' In spiritual sense this is a day when we look outside for happiness, that red rose, that surprise gift, that long drive and chocolate cake.''

I sure enjoy all the attention of my partner. Does this make me a shallow person?

So it goes on and on, my scales dipping precariously from one side to the other. If you have some pills of thought to stabilise my scales and soothe my nerves, please do share. Romantics and the romantically challengedboth are equally welcome!

To get to the food part, this Valentine's Day we decided to spend the evening at home. My husband decided to cook us a special dinner. I was happy being his sous chef for the evening.  

We have been eyeing Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Chicken Leg for sometime. Finally decided to make it. A preparation where a boneless leg and thigh piece of chicken is stuffed with sausage meat and then the whole thing is wrapped in streaky bacon and poached, then chilled and then fried. You can find the recipe here. We pretty much followed the master chef, except for a few tweaks here and there. I am not writing  down the recipe here. Will just share with you the things we did differently.

We did not make sauce with marsala wine, did not have any at home. We had some nice port at home, used that instead.

 In his recipe the chef does not cook the sausage meat. Since I am a little  pretty squeamish about eating raw meat, husband fried the sausage meat in a little olive oil.

Added some dried plums and finely chopped spring onions along with the stipulated pistachio nuts with the sausage meat.

The trickiest bit in this recipe is wrapping the chicken parcel with bacons. Husband managed that pretty well.

This was the first time we poached in little foil parcels like the Michelin star chefs keep doing in their recipes. Glad to report our parcels stayed put. I was freaking out thinking all the contents of the parcels would be out swimming in the boiling water. But the parcels behaved themselves.

Once the parcels were fried till the streaky bacons were crisp, my husband sliced the parcel and served it on a bed of salad leaves and some cherry tomatoes. We had port to go with it.

It seemed like I am sitting down to a restaurant meal. The bacon was crispy and salty, while the chicken was soft and smooth and the plum and the pistachios added another level to the sausage meat. Eaten together it was very different and new, in a good way. Truth to tell I did not need the sauce at all. Husband said he liked it, otherwise found the meat a little dry.

For us Indians used to all our masalas, this is a tad  bland. This is where the paprika and garlic in the sausage meat comes in handy.

If you are out to impress someone, this is a fail proof recipe. 

It sure impressed me. Hence the title of this post 'the way to a woman's heart'......:-)

Oh I got an award from a blogger friend. This post has gone on and on, so will share it next time. Promise.


  1. Hi Suchi, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Love to read what you write about valentine.

    It's always the case, business minded people take the opportunities to earn extra bucks during festive season. But I too think the price they mark up is too much, like extortion. Even in Malaysia also the same thing,and the boss laugh all the way to the bank.

    Your chicken roll look delicious, very well wrap, so neat and off course makes me drooling too.

    Have a nice day.

  2. Suchi..i really felt, it was me talking!! I am a Libran too and i yo-yo between being all lovey dovey ( we are supposed to be hopeless romantics..remember linda goodman ;)) to be a cynic :)..loved the post! Being a vegetarian..cant comment on the dish though..but a awwww gesture from ur hubby :)..S did everything for me this & again i was the meanie wifey!

  3. Beautiful post... The chicken rolls look awesome and inviting

  4. Hi Suchi, the dish looks yum:) thanks for sharing.

  5. beautiful notes...chicken roll are awesome

  6. I enjoyed reading your post...Great recipe too!

  7. I enjoyed reading your post...Great recipe too!

  8. Loved the post to read enjoyed and yummyyy yummyyy rolls :)

  9. Hi! Newest follower here :-) love your pictures, that chicken looks droolworthy!
    check out my blog if you like


  10. Loved reading your post Suchi - beautifully written and your thoughts were expressed with unadulterated honesty:)Seems like you had blast on V Day - so sweet of your hubby to have rustled up this delicacy!!Looks absolutely yummy!!

  11. Arey :D You are tempting a vegan!!

  12. A wonderful dish! So tempting.

    I'm not a big Valentine's Day freak, but I still enjoy receiving a little gift or some chocolates on the 14th of February... ;-)



  13. Thanks for stop by @ my blog,you had a great blog as well,I'm following you too,so we can share our recipe from now on :)

  14. Suchi,
    I am too not into commercial aspect of V-Day but some fruitful moments of togetherness is all I count/look for..and that was nice to read about your DH cooking up for you..We too are not much into chocolate etc.These chicken rolls are so neatly done and looks very tempting..loved reading all this..hugs and smiles

  15. that sounds like a great val day meal..have tried stuffing chicken legs but never with sausage meat...interesting recipe..he makes it all look so simple right :)
    BTW suchi..are u based out of london?

  16. This looks so elegant! I love pretty meals like this. Way to go trying something new too!

  17. Great effort in preparation and looks lovely bite sizes,yummy!!

    Erivum Puliyum

  18. I love your blog! I completely agree with you on Valentine's Day which is why I refused to make anything heart shaped for the blog this year (hehe). This recipe is sensual and perfect for a special dinner with your husband. I look forward to trying it.

  19. Thats great...I live in greenwich. BTW are ure into attending food events and such? Let me know..Du have an email id I can contact you on?

  20. chicken roll look hot n yummy....and so delicious too, very well pics.....

  21. Wonderfully gourmet-ish meal -- it wouldn't turn out so good if I made it. Seriously.

  22. Loved reading your post about Valentine's Day, and I do agree about being over commercialized, just like other major holidays, here in the U.S....but then again, it creates jobs for people in this bad economy, and that one particular day, for Valentine's everybody is aware of that and it is a nice gesture to make someone happy with gifts and flowers.

    I do prefer a beautiful home cooked fancy, and romantic dish such as your delicious stuffed rolls! Beautiful presentation, and splendid photos:DDD

  23. That stuffed chicken looks heavenly. But I prefer the first non-food part of the post! BTW, what has not gone "horribly commercialized" these days? :)

  24. Congrats on getting the award. Really, the recipe seems to be fail proof. Loved the perfection.

  25. That roll looks delicious! Perfect when friends will come over for dinner!! Thanks!

  26. What a fabulous elegant and delicious :)

  27. Suchi, you write beautifully and engagingly. Leaving your readers wanting a little more. It was lovely to read about the good time you had with your husband. I am completely cynical about V day celebrations, mainly because my husband doesn't do anything special - what was that your friend said 'looking outside for happiness'? Doesn't work for me :-)
    He surprises me with nice things when there is no occasion at all and when i am expecting gifts or special touches, nothing. Go figure.

  28. Nice write up ..I am fan of gorden Ramsay too especially after he went to India,not sure whether u have seen his Escape to India :)

  29. Nice write up dear.....u hav indeed put a lot of effort in the recipe....yummy n delicious !

  30. 30 years of marriage and I believe there is no one day specific to expressing your love. Besides it was an alien concept maybe read only in Archies comics in my teenage years! However, nothing wrong if you are a romantic at heart and what better than cooking a special dish! Nice pictures.

  31. It is very good writing(article). The recipe is gr8. As an ex-hotelier I really appreciate the chicken rolls.


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