Well, not my favourite week this week. The final is looming and I am thinking I need to do well every week now. Unfortunately, I managed to fracture a couple of bones in my right hand and this is causing me a bit of pain. It is obviously impossible not to use your right hand for, well, everything! So this week’s challenge was always going to be tricky at best.
Slicing the shallots and dicing the mushrooms was no problem as, using my Kenwood attachments, it couldn't have been easier.
I left myself a bit of time on Saturday so that I could do the Chicken and Mushroom Cannelloni for Helen's tea. It eventually, however, turned into Helen's supper! I started by immediately panicking that there was no tutorial video, then I got a grip and realised the pasta making part was similar to the week before. So I quickly made my pasta by mixing the flour, eggs and olive oil in the Kenwood Chef using the Dough Hook, which is a very simple and consistently good operation. I then wrapped it up in cling film and stuck it in the fridge to rest. Slicing the shallots and dicing the mushrooms was no problem as, using my Kenwood attachments, it couldn't have been easier. Up to this point I was well on track to have everything done for tea.
However, I lost so much time on dealing with the chicken it was ridiculous! Trying to get thigh meat off a chicken bone using a blunt knife and with your best hand broken is not a quick affair. In fact, it was nothing short of pathetic. In the end I used some scissors and my fingers and, as I was trying to get the sinew out, my hand was killing me. I didn't really know what I was doing, in the end I probably wasted quite a lot of chicken, but I was just relieved to have gotten through it. It was around this time that Helen arrived home with the children and realised tea was going to be very late!
Still, I pushed on and fried the mushrooms, shallots, chicken and garlic in a pan until it was all cooked, then put it into a bowl and stirred it around with some chopped parsley. I then made the béchamel sauce which, having done a few times before now, I found – dare I say it – easy! The pasta dough was now so well rested it probably thought I had forgotten about it! I attached the pasta roller to the Kenwood, pulled the dough into two halves and put them through to create 2 long sheets about 10cm wide. I then chopped them so that I ended up with 6 sheets 10cm x 15cm, before spooning the chicken and mushrooms through the middle of the sheets long ways and rolling them up. After that, I placed them in an oven baking dish and poured over my white sauce.
I whizzed up some bread crumbs by putting some stale bread into the food processor attachment on the Kenwood and sprinkled them over the top of the Cannelloni with some grated cheese. Then it was time to bake it in the oven for 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the excessive time I spent messing around with the chicken meant that by the time it was done the children had gone to bed and poor Helen was very hungry. However, I was pleased with the result overall.
OK, so when you are as hungry as we were by the time we got to eat it anything would've tasted good and if I were to criticise, the pasta was a bit thicker than maybe it should have been. It was mainly only down to the broken hand and the raw chicken which I had never dealt with before that the timing went so out of the window. I am pleased I managed to create another edible meal and as always using the Kenwood was definitely the highlight. I am just hoping dealing with raw chicken is not part of the final! Not long to go now, Gulp!