There was to be lots of us around the table, it was also my son’s 39th birthday, so something ‘chickeny’, something tasty, something a bit Italian. The Italians do family meals so well, chatty and noisy – celebratory. Something I could prepare, freeze beforehand, defrost and pop in the oven on the day.
Something chicken with pesto, garlic, Italian blue cheese (if I could source it) and tomatoes too!
For 6 People:
6 chicken breast portions
100g Fontina cheese (or Gorgonzola)
75g strong cheddar
3 tbsp pesto (fresh is best)
2 tbsp chopped basil
3 tbsp cream cheese
50g fresh breadcrumbs
400g cherry tomatoes on the vine
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Arrange chicken breast in a large ovenproof dish and season with salt and pepper.
Cube the cheese and mix it together with the pesto, basil and cream cheese, seasoning with a little salt and pepper.
Spoon the mixture onto the chicken, covering each chicken breast completely, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and paprika on top.
Bake uncovered for 25 minutes (220°C, 430°F – adjust for fan oven, Gas mark 7)
Then arrange the vine tomatoes around the chicken portions before pouring in the oil and vinegar.
Cook for a further 10-15 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked right through.
I served it with salad and new potatoes, potato wedges are good.
If you are making it in advance, freeze before the baking.