This recipe is very versatile – you can customise it depending on what you have in the fridge/cupboard, and after a few tries you’ll find your favourite combination. The chicken is stuffed with pesto and cheese – goat’s cheese, halloumi and mozzarella are all good options, but anything will work. I’ve described the potatoes as crushed because they are a lazy man’s mashed potato (when you expect lumps it doesn’t seem as bad that they are there!), and the peas add to the texture. Apparently all the goodness of a potato is in the skin anyway, so why bother peeling if you don’t have to? A simple, weekday supper.
2 chicken breasts
2 thick slices halloumi, mozzarella or goat’s cheese
2 tsp green pesto
2 rashers unsmoked bacon
8 new potatoes
Half a cup of frozen peas
2 cloves garlic
A knob of butter
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.
2. Slice pockets into the side of each chicken breast (making sure not to slice through to the other side) and, using your fingers, push as far as you can to make as much space as possible inside.
3. Put a slice of your cheese of choice inside the pocket and top with a teaspoon of green pesto. Wrap the breast in one slice of bacon. Repeat this with the other breast.
4. Place each stuffed chicken breast in the middle of a square of foil and scrunch the edges together loosely. Put on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 25-30mins, opening the foil for the last ten minutes to allow the bacon to crisp.
5. Meanwhile, put a pan of salted water on the hob, chop the new potatoes in half and boil them for around twenty minutes, or until cooked. Add the peas for the last minute before draining.
6. Slice the courgettes and boil for 5-6 in salted water.
7. Crush the garlic into the potatoes, add the butter, salt and pepper, and crush using a potato masher or a fork. Make sure you crush any large chunks of potato but don’t worry about the smaller lumps. It all adds to the texture!
8. Carefully move the chicken from the foil to the plate, making sure all the juices that the pesto and cheese have created aren’t spilled. They make a great sauce for the mash!
Season with salt and pepper and enjoy with a glass of chilled white wine.