Mushroom-Stuffed Grilled Chicken Thighs
by Benjamin Maides, Chef, Au Courant Regional Kitchen, Omaha, Nebraska
Serves 4 to 8 as a main course
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 pound baby Bella mushrooms
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 tablespoon roasted garlic*
- 5 thyme sprigs, leaves separated
- 1 package Smart Chicken boneless skinless thighs (6 thighs)
- Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
*To roast garlic: From a whole head of garlic, peel away most of the outer layers. Slice the garlic in half width-wise and drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil over garlic, so the oil seeps into the cloves. Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and roast in a 375°F oven for around 40 minutes, or until the garlic is soft when pierced with a fork. Let the garlic cool, then press the bottom of each clove to remove the garlic from its shell. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
To a large sauté pan over high heat, add the butter and oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the shallot, garlic, and thyme leaves and cook until soft. Let cool, then transfer mushroom mixture to a food processor and pulse until chopped but not smooth.
Preheat grill to medium heat. Cover a large cutting board with plastic wrap, and position thighs on the board, rolled out and flat, about 4 inches apart. Cover thighs with another layer of plastic wrap. With a meat mallet, gently tap each chicken thigh to even out the thickness. Pull off the top layer of plastic and season thighs with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Spoon a few tablespoons of the mushroom mixture into the center of each thigh and carefully roll up. Tie each thigh with butchers twine or skewer to hold together. Grill, turning halfway through cooking time, until the thickest portion of a thigh registers 165°F on a digital thermometer. Top with your favorite fresh summer salsa or relish if desired.