Sometimes you get the urge to not follow a recipe and create a dish as you go along. One of these last evenings, I had the very same urge and decided on a supper dish based on what I saw in the supermarket. I did not want anything fancy and so, a pack of chicken breasts, some spinach and mushrooms along with some lovely taleggio cheese found its way into our shopping basket.
What ended up on our plates for dinner was a chicken breast each stuffed with a herby mixture of sweet oven roasted tomatoes and salty molten cheese. To accompany this, I made a mushroom-cream sauce and a side of spinach wilted in butter with bacon. Very simple yet truly satisfying.
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Roasted Tomatoes & Cheese
3 medium tomatoes
a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh thyme
100-150g taleggio or similar sharp cheese
2 chicken breasts
Begin by oven roasting the tomatoes as this takes a while. Preheat the oven to around 160 degrees C. Quarter the tomatoes and place cut side down onto a baking tray (lined with baking paper or foil to make for easy cleaning up). Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I also added some strawberry vinegar for some extra zing. Season and add the thyme. Place the tray in the oven and let the tomatoes roast slowly for about 1-1.5 hours.
Once the tomatoes are done, remove from oven and let it cool. Increase oven temperature to 180 degrees C.
Slice one of the chicken breasts on the thickest part of its side to form a wide slit. Be careful not to slice all the way through. Fill this opening with some of the roasted tomatoes and slices of cheese.
Close up the breast using kitchen twine or tooth picks. Place in a baking tray. Repeat the same process with the other chicken breast. Place the tray into the oven and let the chicken cook through for about 35-40 minutes. Once done, remove from oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes before removing the twine or toothpicks.
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion diced
1 garlic clove finely minced
200g button mushrooms or a combination of different varieties
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt and pepper
about 150ml single cream
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan. Saute the onions and garlic until soft and slightly coloured. Add the mushrooms and let it soften. Add a sprinkle of dried mixed herbs and season with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, add the cream to the mushroom mixture and let it heat through.
Wilted Spinach and Bacon
a knob of butter
1 small onion finely sliced
1 garlic clove finely sliced
100g bacon lardons or rashers cut into small pieces
200g fresh spinach leaves
salt and pepper
Place the butter in a heated pan. Add the onion and garlic, saute until soft. Add the bacon and let it fry until slightly crispy. Drop in handfuls of the spinach and let it wilt and then mix through with the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, in a deep plate, place a large spoonful of the spinach and bacon mixture. Rest one of the chicken breasts on top.
Spoon some of the mushroom sauce over and around the chicken and voila! it’s ready to be devoured! 🙂