Cheesy pesto chicken

Mozzarella stuffed chicken

These days I am so obsessed with my quest for health and nutrition, that I almost forget about the cravings of my kids. I realised it last week when my daughter told me, “Mom, once you used to cook exotic stuff like breaded prawns, cheese balls and parmesan chicken.I miss those days!” I could have killed myself out of guilt. My humble opinion is that we shouldn’t feel deprived while striving to eat healthily. You can permit yourself a one-off occasion when you can indulge. If you don’t listen to your body when it craves, it wouldn’t listen when you want to eat healthy. Food is to enjoy and relish, not to be scared of. If in doubt, check this post.

I wouldn’t have felt so bad if she was refusing to eat her food or was speaking in a rebellious tone. Kids really know how and where to strike a chord within you! I was torn between my ambition to be a health ambassador and motherly love. Eventually, you know which one emerges the winner. Always.

I decided to cook chicken stuffed with mozzarella and pesto sauce, after about a year. Surprising that I hadn’t forgotten the recipe. Welcome to my category of “sinful recipes”! However, I don’t feel too ‘sinful’ since the pesto is nutritious and I’m using skinless white meat.

You will need:

Chicken breast – 5

Chilli powder/chilli flakes – 1 tsp

salt and pepper

oil/butter – 2 tsp

For the stuffing:

mozzarella cheese – 1/2 cup, grated

mint leaves/basil – 2 cups

almonds – 10

garlic – 2 cloves

green chilli – 1

lemon juice – 2 tsp

zest of 1 lemon

salt and pepper

Wash and tenderise the breasts, marinate them in chilli powder, salt and pepper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the pesto by grinding all the ingredients except mozzarella, using a blender. Then add in the mozzarella and mix well.

Preheat the oven for 10 minutes at 220°C. Place the breast on a plate or board, spread out the mixture evenly and roll it like a cone. (so that when cooked, the cheese oozes out from just one end and hence easier to bite into!) Do the same for all the pieces, smear with oil/butter, place them on the oven tray, and cook at 220°C for 30 minutes. Remember to flip the pieces in between, say after 15 minutes.

How do you like the recipe? Would you like a healthier chicken recipe? Check this out: Indo-Chinese style soy chicken

Have you cooked anything similar? Any suggestions you can share? Please comment:


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