Neven’s Chicken Breasts

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prep time: total time: serves 4


125g (4 ½oz) ball of mozzarella, torn into small pieces

4 tbsp basil pesto

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

8 smoked streaky bacon rashers, rinds removed

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steamed French green beans, to serve


450g (1lb) Rooster potatoes, scrubbed

225g (8oz) sweet potatoes, scrubbed

3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed (skin still on)

1 fresh rosemary sprig, broken into tiny sprigs

Sea salt flakes

2 tbsp olive oil

Preparation method

  1. I always make my own pesto, which literally takes minutes, with basil, toasted pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan and olive oil, or buy a good-quality one. These ultra-trendy potato slices not only go well with these pesto-stuffed chicken breasts, but are great as a side dish for a barbecue. They can be made in large quantities in trays and simply reheated as necessary.

  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).

  3. Mix together the mozzarella and pesto. Cut a slit into the side of each chicken breast and then stuff with the pesto-covered cheese. Place 2 halved cherry tomatoes in each breast. Wrap each stuffed chicken breast with 2 bacon rashers – not too tightly, but enough to hold the chicken together. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. To make the rustic mixed potatoes, cut the potatoes and sweet potatoes into 5mm (¼in) slices – a Japanese mandolin is perfect for doing this – and arrange in a single layer on a large roasting tray lined with parchment paper. Add the garlic and rosemary and season with salt. Drizzle over the oil and toss until evenly coated.

  5. To serve, arrange the pesto-stuffed chicken breasts on warmed serving plates with steamed French green beans and the rustic mixed potatoes.