mozzarella and pepper stuffed breaded chicken with herby tomato sauce

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The name may be a bit of a mouthful, but trust me you’ll want a good forkful of this!

If you’ve liked ‘Tasty’ on Facebook and are anything like me, you’ll watch a few of their videos, think they look pretty good and convince yourself to try them, but then just never get round to doing it. Although this recipe isn’t one theirs, they’ve been posting several chicken-stuffed recipes lately, and I thought it was time for me to try something a bit different. 

This recipe idea came to me when I was revising (read: day-dreaming about food) and I tried to imagine what I would love to choose on a restaurant menu. Going out for meals always helps to inspire me, and last week we went out for a family meal to an Italian so this meal has slightly Italian vibes, I think. I also come up with my ideas in stages: what starts out as a simple stuffed chicken becomes stuffed chicken covered in breadcrumbs and accompanied by a tomatoey sauce! You can easily – and I’m sure I will – scale it down by removing the breadcrumbs and/or the sauce. The stuffed chicken would be very enjoyable on its own without all the added extras.

Ingredients to serve four:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast portions (£5.50 for 6, Tesco)
  • 1 ball of mozzarella (£0.70, Tesco)
  • 1 red pepper (£0.85 for 3, Tesco)
  • 1 egg (£1.00 for 6, Tesco)
  • a few slices of bread (£0.50 for a loaf, Tesco)
  • 1 tin finely chopped tomatoes (£0.35, Tesco)
  • dried oregano (£0.70, Tesco)
  • dried basil (£0.70, Tesco)
  • roughly 4 medium potatoes (£2 for 2.5kg, Tesco)
  • frozen very fine green beans (£1.00 for 900g, Tesco)
  • broccoli (£0.39, Tesco)

Process:

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 8, scrub the potatoes and then cut them into rough chunks and place in a roasting dish. Drizzle over roughly two tablespoons of olive oil along with a good sprinkle of some dried basil and oregano. Combine all the ingredients together with your hands then lay each potato piece out individually – this sounds a bit OCD but trust me if you want them to be crispy they can’t be touching! They will take about 35 minutes, pop them on the top shelf, and flip them halfway through.
  2. Chop the peppers into chunks then grill them for a few minutes until they’re softer, then slice the mozzarella.
  3. Cut the chicken through the middle but not entirely in half, then stuff in as much mozzarella and pepper that will fit. Beat an egg in a bowl, then in a separate bowl finely grate (or food process) the sliced bread. Roll the chicken in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs, then place on a greased baking tray. Season with salt and pepper then put a little dab of butter on the top of the chicken. Repeat with the other pieces then bake in the oven on the next shelf down for 25-30 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are quite golden.
  4. When there are 1o minutes remaining put the tin of tomatoes, along with two tablespoons each of dried basil and dried oregano into a saucepan on a low heat and allow to gently simmer.
  5. Prepare your veggies as you like (I steam mine for 5-8 mins), then serve!

Preparation and cooking time: about 45 minutes all in!

Cost per portion: roughly £1.70 each

This dinner is honestly so tasty, and you can prepare the chicken in advance and keep in it the fridge till the evening. Stuffed chicken is something you can really experiment with, and I know I will! I think spinach would be a lovely addition to the filling, and you can try mixing in different ingredients with the breadcrumbs, such as parmesan, to give it more of a tang.

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