Mel Christensen

Mel Christensen

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Eggplant-Wrapped Chicken Breasts

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Eggplant-Wrapped Chicken Breasts
Serves 4
Ingredients:
• 4 Medium Chicken breasts with skin and any visible fat removed
• 4 tbsp *Sundried Tomato Pesto sauce (recipe below)
• 250g frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess fluid
• 4 large “fingers” of feta cheese (about 50g each depending on how cheesy you like it!)
• 8 x 1cm slices Grilled Eggplant
*Please note that you will also need Kitchen Twine which is always found in an obscure part of the supermarket – stationery or kitchenware … I never know!

Method:
1. Place each chicken breast between two pieces of waxed paper or plastic wrap, or in a resealable plastic bag. Starting in the centre and working out to the edges, pound lightly with the flat side of a meat mallet until the chicken is even in thickness.
2. Spread each flattened breast with 1 heaped tbsp of Pesto
3. Place your Feta cheese piece along the centre of the breast and then a quarter of the cooked spinach (squeezed together into a sausage shape) snugly beside the cheese.
4. Taking one end of the breast and carefully fold it over your stuffings then using a tucking and rolling motion form your wrapped chicken breast into a parcel.
5. Lay two eggplant slices on top of the wrapped parcel and wrap edges around to “hug” the parcels.
6. Wrap your parcels in the twine keeping the eggplant slices in position. I like using one 1.5m piece and tying it up kind of like a corset but some people prefer to use several smaller pieces. And some people use toothpicks. Up to you.
7. Place your wrapped parcels side by side in a deep-ish oven tray and place in moderately hot oven (about 190C) until the chicken feels firm to the touch telling you that the meat is cooked through.
8. Let stand while you plate up a nice green salad. Then cut off your twine and serve with salad.

Good Luck! Lots of different variations on this theme I’m sure you could try. I hope you and your family enjoys this dish as much as we all do!

Sundried Tomato Pesto
Toast 100g of pine nuts in a dry pan over low heat on the stove until golden and fragrant. Then in the Food processor/TM blitz 100 Parmesan cheese at speed 10 for 10 seconds and set aside. Into your Food processor/TM bowl measure in 360g of sundried tomatoes, the toasted pine nuts and 4 cloves of garlic and blitz at speed 6 for 10 seconds. Scrape the sides down, add a handful of fresh basil leaves and mix again at speed 6 for 10 seconds. Pour 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil onto the lid with the measuring cup in place and run machine on speed 4 until all the oil is combined. Scrape again, add the Parmesan and 1/2 tsp sea salt and mix at speed 4 for a further 20 seconds. This made 2 heaped cups of pesto. Store unused quantity in airtight jar in the fridge.

Photo: Creative juices are flowing this afternoon. Can't wait to get you into the oven my pretties...