Chicken with Taleggio cheese
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.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.Taleggio cheese is mildly-flavoured whole cows’ milk cheese from northern Italy with a soft texture and a fruity, creamy character. It has a pinkish-brown rind, and a pale-yellow interior which, although elastic, tends to be increasingly crumbly towards the centre of the cheese. Made in square blocks, Taleggio has a pungent aroma that becomes more pronounced as the cheese ages.
6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 pinch salt and freshly gound black pepper
175 g (6.2oz) Taleggio cheese (straight from the fridge), cut into small cubes
3 tbsp pesto
2 tbsp freshly chopped basil
3 tbsp full-fat cream cheese
50 g (1.8oz) fresh breadcrumbs
1 pinch of paprika
400 g (14.1oz) cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
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.
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.
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 or until the chicken is just cooked through. Be careful not to overcook it.
To serve, arrange a chicken breast on each plate with a few tomatoes, then spoon over some of the juices from the dish.