I’ve been experimenting with different ways to stuff a chicken loaf and finally, this is IT! It’s easy and foolproof. No kitchen twine, no stuffing spilling out, just a great looking and tasting chicken loaf. My inspiration comes from observing my friend and phenomenal cook Chryso Lefou, who once stuffed masterfully a meatloaf and wrapped it like candy.
It’s amazing how many hungry mouths you can feed with one kilo of mince. That’s one of the great things about meat loaves. You can present this at a casual family lunch or at a festive dinner party. You can serve it cold in sandwiches with some crusty French sourdough or even stuff slices in pitta pockets with a fresh tomato salad. It’s really so delicious and versatile.
Halloumi is salty and so is prosciutto. Adding a little mozzarella to the stuffing balances the saltiness and a cup of freshly grated tomato in the mince mixture adds moisture and lightness. You can omit the halloumi and add any other cheese you like but I like halloumi not only because it tastes heavenly but also because it doesn’t melt into nothingness when cooked. For best results buy the best halloumi and prosciutto you can afford.
Ingredients for the loaf
- 1 kg chicken mince
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup grated, fresh tomato (from one large)
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ fresh mint, chopped
- 2 spring onions, sliced (green and white parts)
- 2 heaped teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- ½ cup Greek style yogurt
- 1 large egg
For the filling
- 5 thin slices prosciutto
- 1 cup halloumi, coarsely grated
- 1 cup mozzarella, coarsely grated
Preheat oven to 200 C fan.
In a large bowl, put all ingredients for the loaf. Use your hands (wear disposable gloves if you have to) to mix everything very well. At this stage you can keep the mixture covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Take a large rectangular piece of greaseproof paper and place it on the kitchen counter. Spread the mince mixture into a rectangle, measuring about 25 x 35 cm.
Layer the prosciutto slices, overlapping slightly, over the mince mixture (almost forgot to take a pic! )
Mix the halloumi and mozzarella together in a bowl and sprinkle over the prosciutto slices.
Starting from the wide side, lift the greaseproof paper and start rolling the loaf.
Keep rolling and peeling off the paper until you are about 6cm from the other end.
To close the roll, lift the other wide end of the greaseproof paper and press the mince mixture to seal it.
Twist the ends of the paper like a candy to close the chicken roll. Place the roll, seam side down in a baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
Take loaf out of the oven and with the help of scissors, cut the top of the paper to uncover the loaf (the steam will be hot!). Increase oven temperature to 220 C. Return loaf to the oven and continue roasting for 20-30 minutes until golden.
Let loaf stand for 30 minutes before transferring on a serving platter. Slice and serve.