Chicken Breasts with Mozzarella

Succulent chicken breasts with a melting mozzarella filling make a fabulous main course from James Martin
By James Martin
Chicken Breasts with Mozzarella
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main

  • 300 g buffalo mozzarella, chopped
  • 40 g parmesan, grated
  • 1 small bunch basil
  • 1 pinches grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 slices of Parma ham
  • 10 cherry tomatoes

Method

1. Mix the two cheeses and basil together. Season with a little nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide the mixture into six. Cover with cling film and set aside.

2. Lay the chicken breast out flat, smooth down on a chopping board. Remove the small arrow-shaped fillet attached to the main body of the chicken breast and set this aside. Take a sharp knife and cut a slash the length of the chicken, from the thick end to the pointed end all the way down the centre of the chicken breast, being careful only to cut half way through the meat. Then carefully make horizontal cuts into each side of the long cut. Fold back the 'flaps' and place the chicken breast under a piece of cling film. Using a meat mallet/rolling pin or equivalent, gently beat the chicken until it is an even thickness all over, don't be too heavy handed otherwise the implement will penetrate the chicken flesh. Then beat out the small chicken fillet to a similar thickness.

3. Take one batch of stuffing in your hand and mould it to a torpedo shape. Place it down the centre of the beaten chicken breast, from the thick end to the thin end, and then season well. Place the beaten fillet over the top of the stuffing and roll the chicken around the stuffing trying to make sure the thick end is well tucked in. Rub the skin with the olive oil, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Place two slices of Parma ham on the work surface and roll the ham around the chicken. Repeat with the other five chicken breasts.

5. Set the oven to 200C/gas 6. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan and brown the chicken on all sides, seamed side down first, so that the Parma ham begins to go golden and crispy. This should take no longer than one and a half minutes if your pan is hot enough.

6. Place the chicken breasts into a roasting pan with the tomatoes and bake for 12-15 minutes, until cooked. The chicken should be firmish to the touch; don't be tempted to cut the chicken open to check, or your cheese stuffing will leak out. Serve with warm plum chutney and wilted spinach.

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