This sun dried tomato, basil and mozzarella chicken is gorgeous. Full of salty, oozing mozzarella, it’s golden brown on the outside and juicy in the middle. This is how chicken should be cooked. It’s simple enough to make and, thanks to the sun dried tomato paste and the basil, there’s loads of flavour going on here, so all you need to serve this with is a few cherry tomatoes roasted alongside the chicken, and some lovely fresh bread.
If the thought of stuffing the chicken breast seems a little daunting then hang in there, it really is easy. All you need to do is slide the sharp knife into the side of the chicken breast and ease it around to create a pocket. The trick is to turn the breast over before you do this and check out the partly attached fillet underneath to make sure that you don’t cut through to it. This will ensure that your stuffing will not escape. However, don’t worry if you do cut through, I sometimes do and the recipe still works brilliantly, you just get a puddle of gorgeous, gooey mozzarella in the bottom of your pan. Once the pockets have been made, you spread in the sun dried tomato paste, pop in the basil and mozzarella, flour and season each side and you’re good to go. Sear the chicken on both sides, nestle the tomatoes round the chicken and pop it in the oven. That’s all there is to it.
I love to eat this in the garden at this time of year. In fact, in the summer I’m happy to eat pretty much every meal outside unless it’s blowing a gale or lashing it down with rain. If I’m really lucky one of the girls will say they don’t want their tomatoes…it gets better and better!
Sun Dried Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Chicken
- 4 equal sized chicken breasts
- 4 heaped teaspoons sun dried tomato paste
- 16 large basil leaves
- 1 ball mozzarella cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- Salt and pepper
- 400 g vine cherry tomatoes
- You will also need bread to serve
- Pre heat the oven to 200°C
- To make a pocket in the chicken turn the chicken breasts over and look at the fillet so that you can be sure not to slit through to it. Now make an incision in the middle of the side of the chicken breasts using a sharp pointed knife. Try and keep this incision relatively small. Manoeuvre the knife within the breast to create a pocket that runs the full length of the breast. Repeat with the other three breasts.
- Using a teaspoon stuff the sun dried tomato paste into each of the pockets then spread it out evenly with your fingers. Now stuff each chicken breast with four of the basil leaves and quarter of the mozzarella.
- Place an oven proof, preferably non-stick, pan on the hob over a medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
- Lightly dust both sides of each chicken breast with the flour then season well.
- Place each chicken breast, top side down, into the pan. Sear, without moving, for three minutes. Turn each breast over and sear on the other side for another three minutes. Place the cherry tomatoes around the chicken then pop into the hot oven and cook for twelve to fourteen minutes until the thickest part of each breast is cooked through and the juices run clear.
- Serve with the bread on the side and the pan juices drizzled over the tomatoes.