Sun-dried tomato, basil and mozzarella chicken

20070802_tomatobasilmozarella_chick.jpg

20070802_tomatobasilmozarella_chickRight after I finish my first self-help book Clear your freezer – fix your life! I am planning to start a sequel called For the Love of Leftovers. 

You heard it here first 😉

Seriously, what’s not to love?  Leftovers have inspired me to create dishes like boerewors and butternut risotto or fennel and sausage risotto, they have provided the filling for many a lunch sandwich, and formed the basis for almost every omelette and fritata I have ever made!  And sometimes, they inspire even more ambitious dishes… like this one.

We had braaied and as side dishes we had sweet potatoes and a caprese salad.  So when I got home from work the following day, I found a couple of stray sweet potatoes in the vegetable rack and basil and mozarella in the fridge, all of which needed eating in the not-too-distant future.  What to make?  In the end I plumped for the no-mess, no-fuss option that would see everything cooked in the oven so that I could close the door, pour myself a glass of wine, chat to Nick and not think about supper until the delicious smells came wafting under the kitchen door.  Perfect! 

The sweet potatoes were sliced into batons, tossed in olive oil, sprinkled with rosemary and oven-roasted with their skins on, while the chicken breasts were flattened, stuffed, tin-foiled and baked alongside the sweet potatoes.  The end result was absolutely delicious without being too rich – and I didn’ t have to spend half the evening slaving over a hot stove.  Hurrah!

Come to think of it, maybe that second book should be RSS – Really Simple Suppers 😉

MOZARELLA, SUN-DRIED TOMATO AND BASIL CHICKEN BREASTS (serves 2)

Ingredients

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp mayonnaise or cream cheese
6-8 sun-dried tomatoes (I use Merchant Gourmet – but you could also use home-made slow-roasted tomatoes)
about half a ball of mozzarella
a handful of fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Method

Cover a chopping board with clingfilm.  Butterfly each chicken breast and place in the centre of the chopping board. Cover with another layer of clingfilm and pound with a mallet (or the base of a chutney bottle if your life is like mine…) until it is about 0.5 cm thick.  Remove the top layer of clingfilm.

Spread each fillet with a tablespoon of mayonnaise or cream cheese.  On top of that, place a slice of mozzarella,  3-4 tomatoes (cut into strips) and 3-4 basil leaves.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper as required, roll up the chicken breast carefully and secure with a toothpick.  Repeat with the other breast.

Place the chicken fillets in an ovenproof dish.  Top each one with 3-4 basil leaves and enough mozzarella to cover the leaves.  Cover with tinfoil and bake at 180C for 40 minutes or until the chicken is done. Remove the foil and bake for a further 5-10 minutes to get the cheese to brown slightly.

Serve with roasted sweet potato chips and a green salad. Remember to remove the toothpicks before serving :)

Whb_2_yrsI am submitting this post to the lovely Kalyn who is hosting the gala 2-year anniversary extravaganza edition of Weekend Herb Blogging.  Happy birthday WHB!

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  1. says

    Love your book ideas! I can see you have a another career coming as an author. This is the way most people like to cook, especially when the finished tastes as good as this. Sounds fantastic! And it may be too early to be sure, but I do think you may have managed to use the winning vegetable and winning herb in your dish too. Thanks so much for joining the celebration. Hope you are having a relaxing time off from work for a few days too!

  2. says

    I have missed so many of your great posts!
    This post is the stuff dinners are made of…something from the fridge, something from the vegetable basket, a little time spent and the rest is waiting for it to bake by itself and you sit at the table, enjoying a feast. Will defintly do this.
    Ronell

  3. says

    I wish there were a way to start every meal with odds and ends, instead of having to cook to create those odds and ends in the first place. I always think my best cooking is improvisational.

  4. says

    I love meals that come about in this way – it gives you a starting point. It also means that you can be more creative if you are using up ingredients you already have….

  5. says

    well, I think I need that book. I keep cleaning my freezer (ok…once a year) but my life doesn’t clean-up at the same time. What am I doing wrong?

  6. ejm says

    Mmm, mmmm, mmmmmm!! That sounds good! And I bet it tastes better if you use the base of a chutney bottle to flatten the chicken.
    -Elizabeth
    P.S. We use the side of a spent wine bottle for pounding meat flat.

  7. says

    Never got organised enough to join this historic event, but I don’t feel too bad ‘cos I’ll just make you yummy chicken instead. I’m not really stealing your recipe, you’re lending it to me, us both being saffers, an’ all.

  8. says

    I love leftovers too – this one sounds far more dignified than mere leftovers though! My favourite leftover is when there is a whole load of the gravy from a casserole left with only a few bits of meat. I chuck in some rice and cook it in the gravy to make a scrummy and labour free supper.
    Maybe I’d better use up the last of last years’ berries from the freezer, now the new season has started ..will that fix my life!