A full meal in one blog post, you’re really getting bang for your buck here today. If I had one piece of advice I would do everything in this order: get pesto filling made, hammer and fill chicken breasts and set aside in their foil, put swede and potato on to boil, prep tomatoes, put chicken in the oven at the same time as the tomatoes, finish chicken on stove, mash ya mash, make gravy if needed and VOILA. If all seems overwhelming, pour yourself a glass of vino and have a read through a couple of times, it’s not really hard, I promise.
Get your rolling-pin ready because you’ll need to hammer this chicken breast so it can fit in all that delicious filling.
• 2 chicken breasts
• 100g feta (two slices around 1cm thick, no more)
• 2 tablespoons of vegan pesto (you could use any pesto but home-made is always best)
• A little olive oil to drizzle chicken
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Put the breasts into a plastic sandwich bag or fold into a large piece of cling film then as evenly as possible hammer the breasts (lightly at first) till they’re big enough to fold the filling into.
Totally covering the filling fold the pesto and feta slice into the chicken.
Wrap the chicken tightly into some aluminium foil (think burrito-like) adding a tiny drizzle of olive oil so it doesn’t stick.
Cook the chicken breasts for 10 mins in the oven in their foil packages, remember the chicken is now quite thin from all that bashing so it wont take long to cook, you just want it to set around the filling.
Remove from the foil when the chicken is cooked enough for the filling to not move.
Put a little olive oil in a frying pan and proceed to brown the chicken on the outside giving it a nice colour.
TIP: If you had a metal skewer you could pierce the chicken parcel and cook entirely in the frying pan if you wished but I find wrapping it tightly in the oven ensures that none of that precious filling escapes.
If some of those precious chicken juices escape into the foil after removing from the oven simply add them to the tomato juices in their pan and cook on the stove for a minute reducing this liquid to a gravy-type sauce, mmm saucy.
Swedes are seasonal in the UK at the moment so I wanted to use one I’d bought from the local farmers market but they can be a little watery on their own and tend to have a pumpkin-like consistency so I’ve added a potato to the mix to make it a little creamer.
• 1 swede (peeled and roughly cut for boiling)
• 1 potato (peeled and roughly cut for boiling)
• 50g butter
• Salt & Pepper to taste
Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the swede first as it takes longer to cook.
After 5 minutes add the potato pieces and boil for a further 20 mins or until both are soft.
Mash with salt, pepper and butter to get the consistency you want. If you have a potato ricer or food processor you could use this to make it super creamy, I had mine with a few lumps to give it a rustic home made feel.
I’m really giving away my secrets here, this side is usually reserved for my show stopping brunch that I usually make once every fortnight.
• 6 cherry tomatoes, or as many as you’d like (any tomatoes can be used but I find cherries sweeter and just plain cuter)
• 2 tbsp of good olive oil
• 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
• 1 tsp brown sugar
• Pinch of salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
In any small tin (try a loaf cake tin) put your cherry tomatoes and all other ingredients. Give a bit of a swirl around to coat the tomatoes and put straight into the oven for around 15 mins.
If everything has come together as planned you have a date-worthy meal for 2.