LAPSANG SOUCHONG CHICKEN

The smokiness of one of China's most mystical teas permeates the chicken while making its own marinade. This flavorful entree will leave a lasting memory with your guests.

Ingredients:

6 large boneless chicken breasts
4 large Portobello mushrooms
1 oz. loose Lapsang Souchong tea
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 red bell pepper
4 green onions
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cold water


Directions:

Preheat oven to 325º F.

In a spice blender, grind one half tea leaves until fine. Slice mushrooms into finger length sections, 1/2-inch thick.

Pound chicken breast until flattened. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of ground tea over the inner side of the breast. Add a pinch of salt and 1 mushroom slice. Roll up and place in a lightly greased baking dish. Coat the chicken breast lightly with butter for browning. (Chicken may be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated.) Bake for 40 minutes at 325º F.

Bring cold water to a boil. Brew the remainder of the whole tea leaves in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Discard the leaves. Allow the tea to boil until reduced by one half.

Chop red pepper, onions and remaining mushrooms. Saute for 3 minutes with 1 tablespoon butter. Add tea to pan and reduce the liquid.

Place individual chicken breast on each dinner plate and spoon 2 or 3 large spoonfuls of vegetables over each.

Suggested accompaniments: English roasted potatoes, asparagus spears and wholegrain bread.