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So you think you can chef (cook)?


Well-known member
Apr 2, 2009
Here is a dish that would make any cook proud.

BRB w/ link......
on second thought, here is the entire recipe.

I Tried to make a 3X amount & I TRIED to do it pretty much solo ... never again.
It was being sent to the judges along w/50+ entries in the 'Friday Night Feast'
catagory. Ran out time....got dark..was tired and gummiebeared...lost focus..
and left off the pan jus !!
..our 'runners' had ran turn in at judges area and only got to taste was the
breast trimmings left after presentation...few extra carrots and ALL THE PAN JUS.

I had to split a 'double' into three (so 'serves 4 each so 3x4
turn-ins rather than the 8 portions I planned to turn in.....

We did not win ''''but did stay true to the recipe..$$$.99. Will not fail next time.
I had never made it before...plans to make a small test 'batch' fell thru..bad weather. Did I mention this was done
outdoors on wood pits and with just one gas burner.

here you go...more will see the recipe this way.....haha--print and give to your wife....lemme know how that turns out..


To inspire your table, we asked readers for their best holiday recipes. In response, hundreds of cherished dishes and poignant anecdotes flooded our inboxes. Weeks of testing and tasting, and multiple rounds of voting, ensued until—at long last—we agreed on the best of the best, yielding a handful of winners.

The Texas Co-op Power 2016 Holiday Recipe Contest grand prizewinner (and this month’s cover star) is Stuffed Chicken With Mushroom Pan Jus from Karen Bergman of Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative.

Bergman wins $3,000 for her delicious entrée. Four additional winners—for two sweet and two savory dishes—each get $500.

Stuffed Chicken With Mushroom Pan Jus

“This rich and delicious entrée is definitely worthy of a holiday dinner and is a family favorite at the Bergman house. The creamy filling is flavored with luscious red peppers and garlic that roast for an hour and a half to create an incredible flavor. Bonus: The process makes your kitchen smell delicious.”


3 red or orange bell peppers
8 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
8 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence with lavender
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup sliced shallots
8 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
8 ounces grated pepper jack cheese


4 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
8 slices thick-cut bacon (or more, depending on size of breasts)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Mushroom Pan Jus

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
16 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons rosemary
2 tablespoons thyme
Cracked black pepper and coarse salt to taste
2 cups dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
2 cups mushroom or chicken stock
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 tablespoons flour

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with olive oil or unflavored nonstick spray.

2. Stuffing: Core peppers, removing seeds and membranes, then slice each half into quarter strips. Peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Place peppers in baking dish (insides facing up), sprinkle with garlic, drizzle with olive oil, cover with foil and bake 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat, uncover and cool.

3. In a food processor, combine cream cheese, herbes de Provence, salt, pepper, basil, Italian parsley and shallots, and pulse until creamy. Add spinach and pulse until incorporated. The mixture can be slightly chunky. Add the cooled peppers and pulse until combined but still chunky. Transfer the stuffing to a bowl, stir in pepper jack cheese, and refrigerate while preparing the chicken.

4. Chicken: Coat a 10-by-16-inch roasting pan and rack with nonstick spray.

5. Spread equal amounts of stuffing on top of each butterflied breast, then roll into a snug cylinder. Starting on one end of the roll, wrap a slice of bacon around the breast, from one end to the other, and then repeat with a second slice (starting where the first slice ended).

6. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place chicken in skillet and cook 3–4 minutes on each side, just until the bacon begins to brown. Transfer the chicken, seam side down, to the prepared roasting pan. Leave browned bits and juice from the chicken in the skillet to be used for the pan jus. Bake uncovered 35 minutes. While the chicken cooks, make the pan jus.

7. Mushroom Pan Jus: In the skillet used for the chicken, heat olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, thyme, pepper and salt, and sauté until slightly browned. Add white wine and cook, stirring to scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan, until reduced by half. Add the stock and again cook, stirring, until reduced by half. Add the softened butter and stir until creamy. If the sauce seems thin, you can thicken it by stirring in flour.

8. Serve the chicken breasts covered with a generous portion of the mushroom pan jus. Top with any remaining chopped parsley, if desired.

Serves 4.

Cook’s Tips
Elevating the chicken on a roasting rack helps the bacon crisp and brown in the oven, but it’s fine to place the chicken directly on the pan. For the best flavor (and easiest serving), allow the chicken breasts to rest about 10 minutes after cooking. To make the dish less rich, cut the sauce recipe in half and top each chicken breast with only a few spoonfuls. Any leftover cheese stuffing is delicious spread on a toasted baguette—a nice appetizer for the cook.


ANY leftover parts can be used... we ate ribs and briskit w/ that pas jus. and put the stuffing inside bacon jalos.

OH yeah to any lpf chefs ''''''''Yes I did all the prep and all was 'mise en place'...
My Bad. next time''''''*O*''''''
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Well-known member
Apr 2, 2009
hmmm pics would not load..will try here. I was 'sold' at first glance' '''nope'''Will resize. try #3md_detail_rec_chicken_web smaller.jpgmd_detail_rec_chicken_web smaller.jpgissue_1612_cover SHROOM PAN JUS.jpg
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Well-known member
Apr 28, 2015
I can't believe all the spices involved:eek: So portion presentation also counts big time??
No wonder your exhausted..;)
All I have in my cabinets I think is salt, pepper, and maby garlic powder:unsure:
Sounds and looks really good, If it were chicken cordon blue though I would be drooling more:giggle:

Edit: What is "herbes de provence with lavender"?? Where did you even find it??:)
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Well-known member
Sep 4, 2018
Crikey, it's a detailed recipe! Looks delicious :)

I'm the same as GSS - I tend to keep things as simple as possible cause living on my own I'll never get through things before they're off if not...

I think herbes de provence is Majoram, Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, Oregano. I've never seen it with lavender in the UK - might be a US thing?


Well-known member
Apr 2, 2009
Proveance is a French town well known for their Lavender fields.
I searched locally but had to buy an oz from ebatty seller..

Later I found LOTS in a nice herbs store in Houston...

They offer better dry herbs than stores. Fresher.
My fresh herbs came from a friends garden- He grows 6 or 7 'types' of basil. (oregano-Rosemary +-thyme
and garlic too

So mine (2 cups sweet basil)was fresh chopped. I started prepping Wed night- spend a lot of time Thursday.
and started too late on Friday... only variations I did was adding 2 more 'colors' of sweet peppers(G R Y O ) for more color and a few other herbs.
and grilled baby potatoes- the ones that are several colors. small & tasty
Being bigger pans I opted for grilled brown sugar/maple syrup young carrots with tops on (wrap tops in foil to keep green) nice grill marks ..

So where I could I subbed fresh for dry--but knowing how much is the same is not always easy. WE must use medium size Ally 'halfpans' turn in containers and 7 slices of the Chicken did not fill all three correctly-- I just should have refused to split 3 ways... another of our cookers bailed.

WE have won 1st place FNF MANY times with our Snapper Ponchatran.. an extremely expensive dish -- 5 $$$$$seafoods.. whats not to like.. Surf n turf wins a lot also. Never a problem finding judges for that one.. they get to split up and take the leftovers home.
But every year we hear calls for judges over the PA sys..for beans always-- and a few times for chicken judges..
I did ribs once-- saw lots of time wasted by all.. food gets cold etc. they have 3 tables with 6 or 7 judges each.. so if you turn in more than one at same time they may go to same table.. so as we are 4 teams (together) we stagger the turn-in to
1) with 5 or 6 min left- #2 after a few- then #3 when they announce very 'last call '.and #4 at end of line.. they very last one allowed.

It is a no -points (towards grand champ and $3000) or cash category, that the team has spent hundred$ every year (>15yrs ) & with donations from sponsors now down to only 4 or 5K$-- the cooker now pays for that one.. Team re-embursing the cooker IF they win first place trophy only.

4 years ago our First Place Brisket got us a $1,500 check and big time bragging rights..(> 100 turn-ins)
2nd and 3rd get $1K and 500$ ...no other cash prizes except the 'side' category for Fajitas.. 1. 2 and 3.. get a share of the cost to enter that one--

TY for all the kind words. hak

this may still work---thepitmeisters.myspace no pics there newer than 2009- now we are at FBook... BUT one is NOT us. Ours has lots of great pics and NO NEG BS (we kicked one guy out and...) his hacking forced thePMs s to go private.. I can invite anyone... pics here will make you hungry!!
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