Bring this delicious one-pot straight to the table – not only because everyone will be impressed, but also because the cooking juices are well worth soaking up with good bread once the chicken has all gone.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves 4 (easily halved)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breasts
100g soft goat’s milk cheese (or any full-fat soft cheese)
8 rashers dry-cured smoked streaky bacon
1 tablespoon sunflower or vegetable oil
4 large or 6 smaller ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
100g wild rocket or other salad leaves
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Finely chop the needles from the rosemary. Put the chicken onto a board. Using a small sharp knife, cut a slit into the thickest part of each chicken breast, then poke down inside the chicken to make a pocket. Spoon the cheese into each pocket, using your fingers to help, then seal the pocket up as well as you can.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then scatter with half of the rosemary. Wrap two rashers of the bacon tightly around each piece of chicken, tucking in any loose ends.
Put a shallow, flameproof casserole over a high heat, then add the oil. After 30 seconds, add the chicken. Cook for two minutes on each side, until the bacon is starting to turn golden. Kitchen tongs are useful here.
Meanwhile, very thickly slice the tomatoes. Thinly slice the garlic. Add the tomatoes to the casserole, then scatter them with the remaining rosemary and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with about 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Put the pan into the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside for a couple of minutes to let the chicken rest. The chicken will be surrounded with delicious tomato-flavoured juices.
Put the rocket into a large bowl. Squeeze over the juice from the lemon and drizzle with the remaining extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the chicken with the salad, drizzling some of the warm pan juices around each plate.
What To Cook & How To Cook It.