I always return from my foodie adventures with fabulous products from the food producers I visit and love finding ways to use them. On my most recent trip to Hawke's Bay I discovered Manuka Smoked Tomato Pesto from Telegraph Hill.
Friday night provided a perfect opportunity to use the pesto as I was cooking dinner for friends on Waiheke Island. While I made dessert, Upside Down Black Doris cakes before leaving home, I wanted something quick and easy to put together so I could spend more time enjoying friends’ company, than in the kitchen.
So here's a simple yet tasty chicken dish (serves 4), perfect for weeknights. Excuse the photo; I completely forgot to take one minus the toothpicks!
- 4 skinless chicken breasts
- 4 Tbsp pesto
- 8 thin slices feta cheese (approx 100g)
- 8 thickly sliced sun dried tomatoes
- 2 large handfuls baby spinach
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- 8 rashers streaky bacon
- 1 lemon, zest & juice
- Small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
- Cracked black pepper
- Heat oven to 180 deg C on fan bake
- Line large flat dish with baking paper
- Cut each chicken breast horizontally so you can open them out flattish, like a book
- Spread pesto evenly across insides of chicken breast
- Layer feta cheese, tomatoes, spinach and basil on one half of each chicken breast
- Fold over other half of chicken breast
- Tightly wrap two rashers of bacon around each chicken breast and secure with toothpicks
- Place on tray and sprinkle generously with lemon zest and juice
- Top with thyme sprigs and freshly ground black pepper
- Cook for 25-30 minutes until bacon is crispy and chicken cooked through
- Carefully remove toothpicks and cut each breast into three pieces
- Serve with a simple green salad and minted potatoes.
And of course you can make them without bacon but you will need to secure with extra toothpicks.