The title of this post may sound like I am boasting. Perhaps I am a bit, but this dish really is boast worthy! The flavours compliment each other so beautifully and it really is a truly delicious meal, even if I do say so myself!
Memoirs of an Amateur Cook’s Sun-dried Tomato Chicken in a Parmesan and White Wine Sauce
Serves Two – Three
Two chicken supremes
5 sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated
One clove of garlic, peeled
A handful of fresh basil
3 tbsp pine nuts
Glug of extra virgin olive oil
Glug of good quality balsamic vinegar
4 slices of good quality British ham
For the parmesan sauce:
2 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp plain flour
250ml double cream
Large glug of dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Turn the raw chicken breasts over and using a sharp knife, slice open to make a pocket.
Roughly chop the tomatoes and garlic, add to a food processor with the basil, pine nuts, olive oil and balsamic. Whiz until all the ingredients are combined ad make a smooth paste. Add more olive oil if necessary. If too runny, bung in some more pine nuts.
Suff the chicken breasts with the tomato mixture. Wrap each chicken breast in the ham using cocktail sticks to secure if necessary. Place into an oven proof casserole dish and into the oven. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts; it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 45mins – ours were whoppers so took about 45 mins!
While the chicken is in the oven, make the sauce. In a small milk pan, melt the margarine.
Add the flour and cook for one minute stirring with a whisk.
Add the cream and continue to stir with the whisk to ensure there are no lumps. Cook for two minutes or so.
Pour in the wine and grind in a liberal amount of black pepper. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally.
Just before the chicken is ready to take out of the oven, add the parmesan into the sauce and allow to melt.
Remove the chicken from the oven and slice diagonally. Pour the sauce over the top.
We roasted and lightly crushed some new potatoes and chagrilled asparagus to serve with this dish – the perfect combination. A glass of dry white wine on the side is an even better combination!!
Of course there are more technical and possibly better ways of preparing the chicken. For example, you could roll the prepared breasts in clingfilm and poach in water before pan frying for colouring. However, I think the above version makes the dish that bit easier and quicker to prepare and as long as you are careful, the chicken can still be well presented.
This dish is very simple but the comibination of the tomatoes, nuts, herbs, cheese and ham mean that it can easily impress and not be out of place at your next dinner party. The seasonal ingredients mean it is the perfect summer dinner – the ease of the preparation means it is also perfect for those long, lazy summer evenings. I hope you enjoy it.