After wandering around the local markets in Turkey last week and enthusing over the varieties of fruit and vegetables that I'd never or rarely seen before - white and light purple striped aubergines, round aubergines, courgette flowers, strings and strings of red peppers and chillis drying in the sun, sunflower heads full of seeds ... - I decided to head to our own farmers' market on Sunday to see what was on offer there. Nothing too exotic but I did come back with a couple of marrows.
This is only the second time I've cooked marrow - I shared my recipe last year for Stuffed Marrow using a sort of Oriental-inspired bolognese sauce (with added raisins and za'atar spice). It was very nice but this year I wanted to try a different filling, using up the leftovers from the fridge (cooked chicken from the Sunday roast and cooked rice, plus a glut of cherry tomatoes from the patio).
Cheesy Chicken & Bacon Stuffed Marrow
200g bacon lardons
2 onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
4 mushrooms, quartered
leftover cooked chicken, chopped
a couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 cups leftover cooked rice
spices of your choice : I used smoked paprika, oregano and Schwartz Spanish seasoning, then threw in the remains of a half-used sachet of Crispy Crumb Fajita Coating
100g grated cheese
Wash and dry the marrow. Cut off the ends if you like then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, making sure you don't pierce the skin. Keep the flesh for later.
In a large pan, gently fry the bacon for a couple of minutes until it releases some fat, then add the onions, garlic, red pepper and mushrooms.
Cook for 5 minutes then add the chicken, scooped-out marrow flesh and halved cherry tomatoes. Cook for a further 5 minutes then add the tinned tomatoes and the rice. Season with the spices (and add salt if necessary, but the bacon might be enough). Cook for 5 minutes for it to reduce slightly.
Put both marrow halves in a roasting tin and use the mixture to stuff them.
Sprinkle with grated cheese and pop in the oven for 1/2 hour until the marrow is soft and the cheese is melted and golden.
As this used up leftover roast chicken, cooked rice and a half-used spice sachet, I'm linking up to the No Waste Food Challenge, which is hosted at Chef Mireille’s East West Realm this month
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