This serves 6 - 8
4 cups soft breadcrumbs (approx 8 slices processed..leave crusts on)
1 cup finely diced cooked ham OR 8 slices of bacon cooked and chopped/crumbled
1 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup minced scallion
3 cloves garlic smashed and finely minced
1/4 cup fresh herbs minced(make it your own by using fresh local herbs: oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, basil,, tarragon & etc.)
4 ozs butter (1 stick)
4 on the bone chicken breasts
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken drumsticks
3 cups milk (nut milk is fine)
1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
8 ozs fresh mushrooms minced
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup minced onion
2 ozs butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour
salt & pepper to taste
Hot sauce optional
1 cup heavy cream to finish (optional)
Chopped parsley to finish
In a heavy skillet..heat the butter and add the garlic and scallions and saute for 2 mins do not brown.
Add the soft bread crumbs, parsley, herbs and cooked ham, mix well and set aside to cool.
When this mixture is cold:
Wash and pat dry the chicken pieces, and make pockets in each piece by carefully lifting the skin...do not remove completely.
Stuff each piece , between the skin and flesh with the crumb and herb mix, and seal if necessary with a wood cocktail stick..for the drumsticks make small incisions with a sharp knife to push the stuffing in.
Put 1 cup milk in a shallow dish and the dry breadcrumbs in another and dip the chicken pieces in the milk, shaking off excess, then in the dry crumbs to coat each piece.
Chill in fridge while making the sauce.
Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed skillet and saute the mushrooms, until they release their moisture, then add the bell pepper and onion and saute for 3 mins.
Reduce to low simmer
Add the flour and cook for 1 min then slowly add the rest of the milk, stirring all the time, increase the heat and cook to thick sauce.
Remove from heat and season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce...allow to cool, but not cold
PREHEAT OVEN 350F MIDDLE SHELF
Place 3/4's of the mushroom sauce into a greased, deep oven proof dish and arrange the chicken pieces, skin side up, in the sauce.
Carefully pour the remainder of the mushroom sauce around (NOT OVER) the chicken pieces.
Bake uncovered for 1 hour
Or until golden brown
Remove from oven and add the heavy cream and return to oven for 15 mins.
Then sprinkle with minced parsley and serve..great with any rice, pasta and vegetables
Variations: add 1/2 cup white wine before adding the milk to the sauce, reduce the amount of milk by 1/2 cup