Baked Crumbed Chicken with Mozzarella, Anchovies & Capers

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Limoncello and Linen Water

Limoncello and Linen Water

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2012

  • About

These buttery crumbed chicken breasts, stuffed with mozzarella, anchovies and herbs, go well served with a gentle pile of mashed potatoes. The thin strip on the underside of the chicken breast that cuts away naturally (tenderloin) is not needed here. Use it in a soup or risotto, or to make mini fried chicken schnitzels for small panini.

Ingredients

  • 4 single skinless chicken breast fillets, trimmed of any fat and bits of bone
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 4 anchovy fillets, drained, chopped but not too fine
  • 1 teaspoon capers in vinegar, drained, chopped
  • 100 g ( oz) mozzarella, cut into small dice
  • 80 g ( oz/2 large slices) day-old crustless country-style bread
  • 1 heaped tablespoon grated parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 20 g (¼ oz) butter

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Wipe the chicken breasts clean with paper towels. Cut a long deep pocket in each one through the thickest side, being careful not to cut all the way through or the filling will ooze out. Scatter a little salt and pepper over both sides of the chicken. Mix 1 tablespoon of the parsley with the thyme, garlic, anchovies, capers and mozzarella in a small bowl. Divide among the chicken breasts and stuff well into the pockets. Use 2 toothpicks to seal off each opening.

Pulse the bread in a food processor to give uniform soft crumbs. Remove to a plate and mix in the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley and the parmesan. Lightly beat the egg in a wide bowl with some salt and black pepper. Dip the chicken breasts in the egg and then pat gently into the crumbs, helping them stick with your hands.

Put 2 tablespoons of the oil and the butter in a baking dish just large enough to hold the chicken snugly. Add the chicken, drizzle over the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and bake for 30 minutes or longer, until deep golden and slightly crispy. Remove from the oven and rest, covered with foil, for 5 minutes or so. Remove the toothpicks and slice each breast on the diagonal into about 6 slices. Put on serving plates, drizzle each with a little juice from the pan and give a final grind of black pepper. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice if you like.