Serves 4 | prep 25 mins | total time
- 4 large skinless chicken breasts
- 20 sundried tomatoes in oil (about 60g), drained and chopped
- grated zest of 2 lemons
- 4 tbsp roughly torn basil leaves
- 1 x 250g tub ricotta cheese
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 12 slices of pancetta
For the basil pesto
- 3 x 28g packs basil, leaves only
- 50g Parmesan, grated
- 1 garlic clove
- 50g toasted pine nuts
- ¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- juice and zest of ½ lemon
- 200ml olive oil
Leftover pesto can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. Toss with pasta or use it to top bruschetta.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5. Cut a deep slit into the side of each chicken breast. You want to create a pocket into which you can stuff the filling, but don't cut all the way through to the other side.
- In a bowl, combine the tomatoes with the lemon zest, basil, ricotta and seasoning. Stuff each chicken breast with a quarter of the ricotta mixture – being careful not to overfill them, as you need to seal them shut.
- Thread a cocktail stick back and forth between the open sides of each chicken breast to 'sew' it shut. This stops the ricotta mixture from escaping as it cooks. Wrap each chicken breast in sliced pancetta.
Tip Cut 4 sweet potatoes into thick wedges, spread out in a roasting tin, toss with a little olive oil and season. Roast for 30-35 minutes until tender and serve up with the chicken.
- Place the stuffed chicken breasts in a deep, lightly greased roasting tin (or line with baking paper). Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes, removing the foil for the last 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- For the pesto, whiz all the ingredients in a food processor for 1 minute until the pesto becomes coarse in texture.
- Slice the chicken. Serve with the pesto and sweet potato wedges (see Kitchen Secret).