Although I’ve stopped going to the gym since the beginning of this month as the weather has been very hot, most of the mornings we have been going to the beach for swimming. However, I still want to get some more exercise and there was a great offer on home treadmills which are pliable, so a few days ago our treadmill arrived and hope that now the whole family can benefit and get some exercise at home any time we like, until autumn, when I hope to start going the the gym again.
However, I have not stopped my diet and chicken is now the meat we eat the most as well as fish. I love cooking it in parchment paper as it keeps the meat tender and juicy, so I try and find new flavours so that it will not turn into a boring meal.
Since I had a lot of cilantro, I made it into a pesto and have it in the deep freezer to use whenever I need it. When the pesto is frozen it can easily be cut into slices and when it melts during cooking, it’s taste and aroma is infused into the chicken breasts. For the rest of the family, who are not on diet together with the pesto, I added some halloumi and pasto Lakonias, which is smoked pork, which I made early April. Pasto and halloumi are a great addition but they are not necessary in the recipe or you can substitute it with some other kind of cheese and smoked charcuterie.
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Cilantro Pesto, Pasto and Halloumi, Recipe by Ivy
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 – 40 minutes
- 5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon tarragon
- 5 tablespoons cilantro pesto
- 5 slices halloumi or graviera or feta (optional)
- Pasto Lakonias (optional) or lountza
With a sharp knife cut the chicken breasts open.
Combine all the seasoning together and massage the chicken breasts. Place a tablespoon pesto on each chicken breast, (if it is frozen cut a thin slice about 1 cm thick and 5 cm long), add some pasto and a slice of halloumi. Fold and secure with a toothpick.
Line a baking tray with a large piece of parchment paper, big enough to cover the chicken. Put the chicken breasts on the parchment paper and cover.
Preheat oven at 180 C/350 F and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on how well cooked you want it.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Slice the chicken into medallions and serve immediately with a salad and some Yoghurt Mustard Sauce.
Although I plan a meal for the whole family, some times the boys eat out with their friends, so I had some leftover chicken breasts and in the evening I made some fajitas.
Since we don’t have any sour cream in Greece, I usually serve fajitas with katiki, a Greek cream cheese, but as this was not planned, I did not have any at home, so I served it with the Yoghurt mustard sauce, which turned out to be great.
Chicken Fajitas with leftover chicken – Recipe by Ivy
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 6 tortillas
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 leftover cooked chicken breasts
- 6 button mushrooms
- 1 cup bell peppers (various colours)
- 1 cup of mixed frozen vegetables
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pinch of harissa or hot paprika or chili
- A pinch of cumin
- ½ tsp oregano
Yoghurt Mustard sauce
- 1 Greek yoghurt 2%
- 1 clove garlic
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons mustard
To prepare yoghurt sauce: Pound the garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle. Mix in the yoghurt together with mustard.
Steam the frozen vegetables in the pressure cooker for five minutes and set aside.
Meantime, in a non stick frying pan heat one tablespoon olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté for a couple of minutes and then add the peppers and the steamed vegetables. Mix and cook for one minute. Finally, add the cooked chicken and seasoning and mix. Set aside.
In a sautéing pan add another tablespoon olive oil and put the tortillas in. Cook on one side and then turn over. Add the filling with the chicken and vegetables, fold and cook for another 1 minute.
Serve with some yoghurt mustard sauce.