My mother used to make Stuffed Chicken Rolls when I was little.
They were one of my favorites.
When I visited a friend in Nagoya, Japan, several years ago, she took me to a restaurant that specialized in flavoring their dishes with shiso.
I've thought of that restaurant often, and wish I would have written down the name of it so I could someday visit it again. Being a shiso and umeboshi lover myself, it was somehow validating to find that there were other people in the world like me!
That's where the idea of marrying my mother's stuffed chicken rolls with shiso and umeboshi came from.
You can make the chicken rolls simply with your favorite stuffing, omitting the shiso and umeboshi.
They're good without the ume and shiso, it's just a way of making them my own, which is what you'll do--make them with what you like.
1 sweet onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 cups diced fresh shiitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups stuffing mix
2 packages (about ten leaves each) shiso
2 umeboshi, seeded and minced
6 chicken breasts
Oil for frying
Chop all vegetables.
Brown the vegetables in 2 tablespoons melted butter.
Add two to 3 cups of stuffing mix, my mother always used Mrs. Cubbison's seasoned dressing, so that tastes like comfort food to me, but you can use whatever kind of stuffing you like.
Add about a cup or so of liquid--vegetable broth, chicken broth or water works, too.
Combine well and set aside.
This is the umeboshi I grew up eating.
They still have it in the stores.
This one is the only one I think they had when I was growing up, there weren't the Japanese grocery stores in my area like there are today.
Back then there was just one kind of umeboshi.
This kind is salty and very sour.
Hence the term 'Umeboshi Face' for a sourpuss.
This is the kind I buy today.
It's got 5% salt, the lowest I can find.
For this recipe, you can use the less expensive ones--there's lots of different kinds, I reserve these for eating plain or with rice.
Remove the pit.
Mince the umeboshi.
For this recipe I used two.
They also sell umeboshi paste in a tube at Nijiya Market.
About 1 teaspoon equals one umeboshi, but that one is stronger, so adjust accordingly.
This is shiso.
Cut the stems off the leaves, wash, and dry.
Slice the leaves into strips.
Stir the minced umeboshi and the shiso into the dressing.
Or, you can add them separately to each chicken breast as you're rolling them, that way you can make some with and some without.
Now for the chicken.
Cut one side of a large zip lock bag open and put a chicken breast between the thick plastic and pound flat.
Do that with each one.
I usually take the little 'tenders' piece off to use it separately or use it for something else.
Spread the stuffing mix on the flattened chicken breast.
And roll it up.
Insert a toothpick at the seam to hold it together.
If you don't want to pound the chicken breast flat, you can cut a pocket into the breast on the side and stuff the stuffing into the pocket.
Make an egg wash by beating two eggs with a little bit of water.
You most likely get away with using just one egg, I had some left over.
These are panko breadcrumbs made by Kikkoman.
I bought these at Costco because I forgot to get panko at Nijiya Market.
The next time I'll go back and get them at Nijiya, these are not as light and flaky as some of the other brands.
The Kikkoman brand are more coarse and dense.
Take the rolled, stuffed chicken breast and put it in the egg wash...
and then into the panko.
Make sure it is well-coated.
As you're finishing breading the chicken, heat a skillet and add enough oil for frying.
Fry the chicken breasts at 350 degrees F until golden brown on one side, then turn.
Watch it carefully, you don't want them to cook too fast, or they won't cook through, so adjust the heat and lower it if necessary.
Drain well on paper towels and let them rest for a few minutes before cutting.
The smaller ones are served with shiso leaves.
And the larger ones are sliced.
The shiso and umeboshi tastes are subtle, if you want a stronger taste, add a little more umeboshi.
It's also really good to serve the shiso leaves on the side and wrap the chicken roll slices in a shiso leaf, then eat.
Today is Karen & Mitchell's first wedding anniversary.
As I look over the wonderful photos taken by Lauren Miyake Photography yet again, I am so thankful for Lauren & Joseph to have captured the day so perfectly in their photographs.
Connie, along with my sister-in-law Nancy and their crew, decorated the Hurst Ranch for the wedding.
Connie turned the Hurst Ranch into an enchanting place.
Connie and her crew of our friends and relatives, added lots of beautiful touches around the ranch.
It's amazing what that woman can do with burlap and flowers.
Thank you, once again, to all that helped.
We couldn't have had such a nice wedding without everyone's help.
It was beautiful at night, too.
Like I said, they captured the day perfectly.
Connie Liles: firstname.lastname@example.org
No printable recipe for this one yet.