Feta and Pesto Chicken

The very hottest days of the Cypriot summer are now behind us, and while we still have gloriously cloudless skies, the cooling of the air, the sun setting earlier behind the mountains of Kyrenia, and the pleasantly temperate nights all hint at the coming of my favourite season. 

It is as the weather cools that my mind turns away from the procession of salads and barbecue meals that have been the staple of summer eating, and while I’m not quite ready for long-simmered stews and wintery roasts yet, I’ve been craving one of my most loved simple oven-baked meals. Feta and Pesto Chicken is bursting with Mediterranean flavours, can be prepared quickly and easily (and in advance! So good!) and the robust flavours carry through perfectly from summer into autumn.

It’s also a fantastic dish to feed a crowd. Simply multiply the ingredients by the number of guests, make sure you have plenty of crusty, fresh bread to mop up the sauce and let everyone dig in.

This dish cooks quickly, but do take the chicken out of the fridge a good 15 to 20 minutes BEFORE cooking to allow it to warm up a little. This recipe also assumes medium sized chick breasts, if you have larger, or smaller pieces of meat then adjust the cooking time accordingly. If you are unsure at all, cut into one of the pieces to ensure the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!


Feta and Pesto Stuffed Chicken

Feta and Pesto Stuffed Chicken

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

One of my favourite simple oven-baked meals. Feta and Pesto Chicken is bursting with Mediterranean flavours, can be prepared quickly and easily (and in advance! My favourite!) and the robust flavours carry through perfectly from summer into autumn.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts, 200g ea.
  • 4 tsp basil pesto
  • 100 g feta cheese
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 100 ml white wine
  • ½ chicken stock cube
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 220°C / 425°F / Gas 7.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut each chicken breast from the side almost in half, to form a pocket, so you are able to open the breast up like a book. Place in each pocket 1 teaspoon of basil pesto and then a quarter of the block of feta. Fold the chicken breast back over to enclose the filling.
  3. Place each breast on a piece of prosciutto. Bring the ends of the prosciutto up to wrap the breast and keep it closed and then place all four breasts with the join side down in a high sided oven proof dish, approximately 20 x 30cm.
  4. Surround the breasts with the cherry tomatoes, pour over the white wine, crumble over the stock cube and sprinkle with oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, a little longer if the pieces are very large.
  6. (If you are unsure if the breasts are cooked through, remove one from the dish (yours!), turn it over and cut into the chicken meat to check for 'doneness'. There should be no sign of any blood and the chicken juices should run clear.)
  7. Remove from the oven, and put the breasts, covered on a warmed plate for 5 minutes to rest. Divide the tomatoes between four plates, add a chicken breast to each and pour over some sauce. Serve any extra sauce in a jug at the table.
  8. Serve with plenty of fresh white bread to soak up all the delicious juices, and a crisp green salad.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 522Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 214mgSodium: 1289mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 75g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I double or triple the recipe for Feta and Pesto Chicken?

Absolutely! It just has to be all on one layer when you bake it in the oven.


I can’t get 200g chicken breasts! They are all much bigger!

No problem! Just trim the chicken breasts down to size and save the cut-offs for a stir fry. Don’t be tempted to use bigger chicken breasts, they don’t cook well and are too much for one portion.


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