Chicken, mozzarella and tomato bake (#79)

We all know that I have a predilection for heavier foods. I also have a preference for food that doesn’t exactly require the skills of a Cordon Bleu chef. For me, food is fun, and I’ll cook what I like.

Mary Berry’s Quick Cooking gives me ample opportunity to cook filling foods that can be whipped up in the shake of a lamb’s tail. This little bake is rather fantastic, simply because all it really requires is stuffing a chicken breast with cheese, landing it on a bed of passata and whacking it in the oven.  Really, how simple can you get? (No complaints from me!)

Mary says the prep time takes 20 mins, and actually this is one of those recipes where I think she might actually be over-egging the prep time. It should be silly quick.

Good things: Someone with an IQ of 60 could do this

Bad things: I hate pocket slicing in chicken breasts

Ingredients & requirements: serves 4

  • 400g passata
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 75g full-fat cream cheese
  • 100g ready-grated mozzarella cheese
  • Leaves from 1 small bunch of basil
  • 6 sun-blushed tomatoes
  • 4 small skinless & boneless chicken breasts
  • 25g grated parmesan

Preparation & cooking

Preparation & cooking

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan
  2. In a sizeable oven proof dish, add and mix the 400g passata + 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce + salt & pepper
  3. In a medium bowl, add and mix the following with a fork:
    1. 75g full-fat cream cheese
    2. 100g ready-grated mozzarella cheese
    3. Leaves from 1 small bunch of basil
    4. 6 sun-blushed tomatoes (these need to be drained and chopped on the side)
    5. Salt & pepper
  4. Put the 4 chicken breasts on a large chopping board. Slit three-wuarters of the way through each breast to make a pocket. Then divide the cheese mixture between each, stuffing it into each pocket. Any left, press it on top and season with salt & pepper.
  5. Place the stuffed chicken on top of the passata mixture. Then sprinkle with the grated parmesan.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes (I used large chicken breasts so I needed a touch over 30 mins I’d say). Make sure it is cooked through.
  7. Serve.

I have served this with some straight forward boil-in-the-bag Uncle Ben’s rice. Mary suggests a fresh green salad or steamed green beans. Sure. Whatever floats your boat.

Reflections:

I’m actually not a mega-fan of passata. Not sure why, don’t question it too much. But that’s not to take away how wonderful this one is. Actually, a pretty nice winter recipe for me, I think anything like this, baked to tomato-y cheesy perception is a great November meal.

All the cheese are pre-grated. In fact, my own aversion to grating cheese means that I now buy almost everything pre-grated these days. In the case of the mozzarella, it really is a must.

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