Salt, Pepper and a Dollop of Cream

One Woman's Journey through Her Cookbooks

Mary Berry’s Chicken with pesto, Taleggio and roasted tomatoes

Chicken Taleggio

Chicken can be one of those meats that dries out so fast, you need the power of I don’t know what to chew your way through it.  Can there be anything worse than dry, overcooked chicken??  What keeps it moist seems to me to be the result of cooking it quickly which means cooking it at a high temperature and cooking it in a sauce of some kind. One chicken dish that I discovered recently and have visited again and again is Chicken with pesto, Taleggio and roasted tomatoes from Cook up a Feast, by Mary Berry and Lucy Young {published by DK, £14.99, dk.com}.  This is a surprisingly simple dish that’s packed with flavour and which does not dry out.

Taleggio cheese was new to me.  This is an Italian soft cheese not unlike Brie, very creamy and quite mild. On a recent visit to Skerries, I’d picked up a slab at the Olive Deli and made this dish when I arrived home.  I’ve since discovered that my local supermarket stocks this cheese too so it’s readily available!

The dish was quick to prepare and quick to cook.  The Taleggio is mixed with cream cheese and pesto.  I will admit I used store bought pesto but not the jarred kind – I used a tub of fresh pesto from the deli counter. The chicken was cooked to perfection and so moist! Who knew it could cook so quickly?! Hubby and Son No. 1 devoured the chicken so I knew I had a new dish added to the repertoire! I loved it so much myself that I ended up sneaking to the kitchen afterwards to finish off what was left of the sauce, it was soooo good.  And I’m thrilled to be able to share the recipe with you by kind permission.

Chicken with pesto, Taleggio, and roasted tomatoes

This is truly scrumptious. It’s also quick to make. Home-made pesto is best, but you can use good-quality pesto from a jar if you’re short of time. Serve with potatoes and salad.

Serves 6

6 skinless boneless
chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground
black pepper
175g (6oz) Taleggio cheese
(straight from the fridge),
cut into small cubes
3 tbsp pesto
2 tbsp freshly chopped basil
3 tbsp full-fat cream cheese
50g (13⁄4oz) fresh breadcrumbs
a pinch of paprika
400g (14oz) cherry tomatoes
on the vine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Serves 12

12 skinless boneless
chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground
black pepper
300g (11oz) Taleggio cheese
(straight from the fridge),
cut into cubes
5 tbsp pesto
4 tbsp freshly chopped basil
5 tbsp full-fat cream cheese
75g (21⁄2oz) fresh breadcrumbs
a pinch of paprika
900g (2lb) cherry tomatoes
on the vine
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Preheat the oven to 220˚C (200˚C fan/425˚F/Gas 7). Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in an ovenproof dish or roasting tin and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2 Mix the Taleggio, pesto, basil, and cream cheese in a bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon on to the chicken breasts, spreading the mixture out to cover them completely. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and dust with a little paprika.

3 Bake for 20 minutes, then arrange the tomatoes around the chicken, pour the oil and vinegar over them, and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes (30 minutes for 12) or until the chicken is just cooked through. Be careful not to overcook it.

4 To serve, arrange a chicken breast on each plate with a few tomatoes, then spoon over some of the juices from the dish.

PREPARE AHEAD AND FREEZE
The chicken can be prepared up to the end of step 2 up to 12 hours ahead. Freeze at the end of step 2 for up to 2 months.

IN THE AGA
Roast on the second set of runners in the roasting oven for 15 minutes, add the tomatoes, and cook for 10 minutes more (30 minutes for 12).

MAKING PESTO
STEP 1 Put a large bunch of basil, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1 tbsp pine nuts, and 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese in a blender.
STEP 2 With the motor running, slowly pour in 100ml (31⁄2fl oz) extra virgin olive. Season to taste.

Cook up a Feast by Mary Berry and Lucy Young
Cook up a Feast, by Mary Berry and Lucy Young
Published by DK, £14.99, dk.com

Enjoy!
Xx Paula

5 comments on “Mary Berry’s Chicken with pesto, Taleggio and roasted tomatoes

  1. alifemoment
    August 7, 2014

    This looks delicious and beautiful! 🙂

  2. MiaMusings
    August 7, 2014

    What a great recipe..and so easy too! Thanks for sharing…look forward to making it soon 🙂

    • Sometimes I think the best recipes are the simplest. It’s the quality and combination of ingredients that matter. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do! x Paula

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Irish Food Bloggers Association

Member of the Irish Food Bloggers Association

Latest Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

%d bloggers like this: