Chicken filo rolls. Not chicko rolls , but Chicken Filo Rolls.

It’s classic Tuesday night at Dad’s fare.

What do you do when it’s 1995, you’ve got two hungry teenage girls who spend the front half of the week with you, a collective date with “Mad about You” at 8pm on Channel 10 and you were never really the one who cooked? ( Barbeques and the signature dish of french toast aside).

If you’re my dad, you sensibly turn to Lenards. The chicken florentine filo roll is a modern marvel- A skinless chicken breast, hugging a pale green mysterious centre we can only assume is some kind of pureed spinach, padded with cream cheese (?) and small slivers of bacon.

Cuddling this is layer upon layer upon layer of filo pastry. Some dried oregano stripes the ends. It’s all wrapped up tighter than a hospital cornered single bed.

Bake for 35 minutes in a 180 degree oven ( The cooking instructions from Lenards have a pride of place on the fridge). Serve with anything you can think of- mashed potato and steamed veggies (carrots, cauliflower, beans and brocolli were a classic combination).

Easy as. Even enough time to go for a swim while it’s in the oven.

These days, like a penchant for spreadsheets and inappropriate humour the chicken filo roll lives on in the child.

Old habits die hard.

Of course there are many ways to dress up the chicken filo roll:
Serve it on a bed of pea puree with a rocket, pear, shaved fennel and grana padano salad.

Wilt some baby spinach, roast some cherry tomatoes along with the filo and scatter the two with shredded basil and crumbled goats cheese.

Or as I did the other night, soak some muscatels in balsamic vinegar until they’re plumped like the kids elbowing to be at the front of the canteen queue. Cut a red onion into 8ths, scatter the onion and the muscatels around the chicken filos in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some salt over the top.

Serve the filos over the top of the red onion/ muscatel mix ( – It all becomes a bit turkey/ cranberry reminiscent). Serve with a salad of basil leaves, mixed leaves, shaved fennel, white peach and torn bocconcini.

In this life you can try as you might to sew a silk purse out of a sows ear,

But really; no matter what salad or side, you’re still faced with a mule in a horse’s harness. At the heart of it, beneath shiny glades of special salads, you’ve still got a breast of chicken in a swaddle of soggy pastry.

And sometimes on a Tuesday night, that’s all you want.

Dad was right.


An oldie but a goodie…..