How to cook : sundried tomato and basil stuffed chicken

Hello! :)

I'm sorry it's been a while since I last gave you a recipe, but I hope this one makes up for it! Unlike my other recipes, this isn't a complete meal, as the chicken can be served with a multitude of options and I'd like to give you some creative freedom too! 

This recipe was inspired by Jamie Olivers' "Stuffed Cypriot Chicken". When you first start using this recipe, it is a bit time consuming but it's very easy to get the hang of once you've had a couple of go's at it. 

What you'll need: 

~ high welfare chicken breasts (1 per person)
~ fresh basil (2 packets should do the job if you don't have a plant)
~ sundried tomatoes
~ 1 chilli (optional)

~ garlic salt
~ coarse salt
~ black pepper



First things first; pre-heat the oven at 220 degrees and boil the kettle. 

We need to rehydrate the sundried tomatoes; so get a small bowl and add about 2-3 per chicken breast and cover with the freshly boiled water and leave to soak.

Get your chicken breasts and a small, but sharp knife. We need to make a pocket for our filling, so at the thickest part of the breast put your knife in a couple of centimeters, place your other hand flat ontop of the breast - keeping your fingers well clear of the knife - and run your knife along to just before the lower end. There should be roughly a centimeter each side that isn't cut. Now you've got a little flap! It needs expanding so gently run your knife along the chicken until you reach a centimeter away from cutting it in half! If you do split it, don't worry about it.


Next, it's time to chop up the basil. I absolutely LOVE the smell of basil and was lucky enough to finally get a large plant from Tesco that was in good condition. You'll need a pretty decent handful and a large, sharp knife for 'cross-chopping'. If your knife skills are verging on dangerous, have a watch of this brilliant video by Jamie and have a practice.

Once you've got your basil, bundle it up into something of a cigar shape and chop it in half. Place the halves ontop of each other and chop in half again. Repeat this a couple more times, then start cross-chopping as shown in the video. The basil doesn't have to be in tiny pieces, as long as it's roughly the size shown in this picture it'll be great.


Onto the chilli! The hottest part are the seeds, so unless you're into that, remove them and the membrane with a spoon after you've cut the chilli in half - lengthways. Using the same method as with the basil, cut and stack in halves a few times, then have at it with your cross-chop. The chilli does need to be quite small, but don't stress yourself out over it.

This is home cooking. Not some 3 star restaurant!

Last but not least; we need our tomatoes, which by now should be somewhat rehydrated. Drain off the water, and cut each tomato slice into quarters.

Now we can stuff the chicken breasts! You can either mix the basil, chilli and tomatoes into a dish and spoon it in or add each element individually. It's up to you. Just remember to season the inside of the breast with garlic salt and pepper first! You don't need much salt, as the sundried tomatoes are very salty in their own right. Stuff the breasts as much as you can and be prepared to get a bit covered in basil! Perhaps I'm just messy.....



Once you've filled up your chicken as much as it can handle, place them to one side and gather up the spare filling. If you have a pestle and mortar, put it in there, if not just pile it up on the board. It's probably worth adding some more basil if you have any. In the spirit of not wasting anything, I decided to turn the 'scraps' into a topping for the chicken. All you need to is bash the living daylights out of it to create a paste, with a little bit of coarse salt and a touch of extra virgin olive oil. Once you've got your paste, add half a teaspoon per breast to start with and massage it on with the back of the spoon. It doesn't need to be covered but do try to get the oils over most of it.





Get a high sided roasting tray and line it with tin foil. Lay your chicken on, give it another seasoning with salt and pepper and then cover with another sheet of tin foil. This will stop the chicken from drying out and the herbs from burning. As the oven will be at a pretty high temperature now, you can cook the chicken at 180 degrees for 18 minutes. Of course, if you're not happy with them after this amount of cooking time, just uncover and put back into the oven at 220 degrees for a further few minutes. Any longer and it will be overcooked.







That's all there is to it! :) 

I like to serve this with potato wedges and a green salad, but I'd love to see what you decide to do! As always, if you have any questions just ask away and I'll help you as much as I can. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. It's a big favourite in my house with everyone - yes, Lily included! 
Happy cooking!! :)

Samantha Nicholls. Powered by Blogger.

FOLLOW

Back to Top