Growing up, french toast was a Saturday staple in the house. My mum made it with lots of love, cinnamon and nutmeg and I tell you there was nothing better than waking up to the warming smell of cinnamon. My routine was always to bypass the morning hygiene routine of brushing my teeth, washing my face and taking a shower.... Instead I woke up and headed straight to the breakfast table. My french toast was never eaten plain though. I loved spreading Nutella and some cut banana on my toast and then washing it down with a simple glass of cold milk. Bliss I tell yah!
Fast forward to adulthood; I still love this breakfast once in a while but I also have less of a sweet tooth. I prefer my savoury treats. Idling on Epicurious, I saw a lot of sweet stuffed french toast recipes but not many savouries so I got the idea into my head that I must try something savoury.
My take, simple ingredients that I already had. So I decided to use chicken and cheese. Surely, one cannot go wrong with that combo right?
The french toast is made as normal with thick cut slices of bread but what really makes this is the chicken. A simple combination of chicken, mushrooms, some herbs and a bechamel sauce.... That's all!!!! This stuffed french toast is perfect for brunch served with a simple side salad. Trust me!
2 pieces boneless chicken breast, chopped into chunks or strips
1/2 punnet button mushrooms
3 tablespoons chopped sage
250 grams hard cheese (cheddar or gouda will do)
100 grams butter
75 grams of flour
1 pint of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
4 large eggs
8 thick cut slices of bread
So you start with the bechamel ...(you could do the chicken at the same time but nah, no need to complicate life)
Put the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and add your butter. Once melted, add the flour one tablespoon at a time and use a whisk to mix it into the milk. At some point, your mixture will begin to thicken. Once it does, don't add any more flour (unless you like your sauce super thick). Then season with salt and pepper to your liking and put aside. If you find your sauce is too thick, you can add some milk to lighten it.
*This is the 'cheats' way of making bechamel. You're actually supposed to start with making a sort of roux then gradually add the milk.... I'm here for simplicity so yeah, the cheats way is what you get 😊
In another pan, add your chicken pieces and some oil and cook till slightly golden brown. Add the mushrooms and sage and cook through for another 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper. To this mix, add your bechamel sauce and let it cook through for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Now for the toast. Beat all your eggs in a bowl and season the eggs ( I used salt and pepper only....but you can use cumin or pimento) . Have a frying pan close by with some oil on a medium heat. Dip a slice of bread into the eggs making sure both sides of the bread are coated in egg. Place the soaked bread into the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on either side (or until its golden brown). I recommend doing 2 slices of bread at the same time.
Reduce the heat to low and place a generous slice of cheese on each slice of the cooked bread when still on the pan. (cover the pan with a lid to help the cheese melt quicker). When the cheese starts to melt, place one slice on a plate, heap the chicken mix on and top it with the other cheesy slice to make a sandwich.
Done! Like literally that's it. Serve with a salad to add a touch of freshness to this rich brekkie.