Creamy Coriander and Feta Chicken
Origin: Stuck firmly to my fridge, holding the empty grocery cupboard list is a magnet saying ‘Dear God, if you are not going to make me skinny, please make my friends fat.’
This recipe is a firm favorite for my book club dinners, girly birthday lunches or any occasion where I anticipate good looking, size 8 friends visiting. And the best thing is there is never a morsel left as it is so delish that guests cannot resist coming back for more. It is most definitely not weigh-less approved!
My dear friend Cath cooked this for a dinner party we went to many many ‘ moons’ ago, and I am wondering if she has the same fridge magnet as I do and was just following out Gods plan of making sure her friends were all fat? The difference though, is she eats whatever she likes and has stayed a size 8 since the day I met her about 15 years ago so in her case that philosophy doesn’t work. (Please click here to read about the incredible work Cath and her hubby do with the most adorable cutie pie babies that are left abandoned on the side of highways and in filthy dustbins. A charity well worth supporting over this special Easter period!)
Nevertheless it is an easy recipe that can be prepared way in advance and is especially good if you are feeding a big crowd as whether you do four or twenty chicken breasts it takes the same amount of effort, which is very little.
I always serve this dish with boiled baby potatoes and fresh green beans that I steam and then toss in butter with some roasted pine-nuts or cashews. To add a bit of zing sprinkle some chilli flakes, grated lemon rind and Maldon salt onto the beans before you serve them.
(I normally work on one large breast per person but do a few extra as some piggies won’t be able to resist a second helping)
Creamy Coriander and Feta Chicken Breasts. (Serves 6-8 )
8 chicken breasts (with bone and skin)
200g grated cheddar cheese
200g traditional feta cheese crumbled
1 large or 2 small bunches of fresh Dhanya (coriander) finely chopped (1 cup)
keep some leaves whole for garnish
250ml fresh cream (add a little milk if you would like more sauce)
chicken spice (I used Robertson’s but any dried spice will do)
20 -25 new baby potatoes – boiled
Toothpicks to secure the stuffing into the breasts
- Preheat the oven to 180 oC.
- Dust each breast with a little chicken flavored spice and fry in a little olive oil, skin down until nicely browned. Set aside to cool.
3. Finely chop the Dhanya and roughly mix with the cheddar and feta cheese.
4. Run your fingers along the breast bone and make a pocket in the breast that you are able to pry open.
5. Stuff as much of the cheese mixture into this cavity as you can and then stretch the flesh and skin over, closing the cavity with two or three toothpicks.
6. Lay the breasts quite close to each other in a roasting dish.
7. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and Dhanya mixture over the top of the chicken and cover with tin foil.
8. Bake for approximately 30 minutes and then remove the tin foil. (Note: for a dinner party you can prepare the dish up to this stage just before your guests arrive and then put it back into the oven to heat up for the next step.)
9. Grill the dish for a further 10 minutes or until nicely browned, ensuring not to burn the top.Test one of the breasts by cutting into the flesh that the chicken is just done, remove from the pan and set to rest while you prepare the sauce.
10. Remove any excess fat that has settled on the top of the drippings from the roasting. Scrape as many crispy bits off the sides and bottom of the roasting dish and put on a slow heat to warm through. Reduce slightly, remove from the heat, and finally add the cream. Pour this creamy sauce over the top of the breasts and serve with the baby potatoes and steamed greens.
NOTE: Please make sure you remove all the toothpicks before serving)