A simple recipe this week, perfect for summer evenings. Wild garlic leaf is in season, and my wife had made a batch of her excellent wild garlic leaf pesto sauce. Smokey bacon is a perfect match for it, so I cooked up some bacon wrapped stuff chicken breast with wild garlic leaf pesto pasta to enjoy in the warm summer sun.
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Large saucepan
- Kitchen string
- Kitchen string dispenser (optional)
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Baking tray and rack (for oven)
- 4 chicken breast
- 20 strips streaky bacon
- 500g fresh tagliatelle
- 5 tbsp pesto sauce
- 100g cheddar cheese
For the pesto I used homemade wild garlic leaf pesto sauce. If you don’t have this, use another homemade or shop bought pesto sauce.
- Preheat the oven or Big Green Egg (indirect setup) to 160°C/320°F.
- Butterfly each chicken breast and sprinkle some cheese inside, then close up the breast to encase the cheese.
- Lay five pieces of bacon onto a clean worksurface (I used a chopping board). Place the chicken breast on top of the bacon, then wrap the bacon around the the breast. Loop and tie some kitchen string around the bacon to create a secure bacon, chicken and potentially cheese parcel. Repeat for each chicken breast.
- Place the chicken parcels onto a rack over a baking tray (for an Egg directly onto the clean stainless steel grid). Cook in the oven or Big Green Egg for 45 mins, or until the internal temperature of the chicken breast is 74°C/165°F.
- With around 10 mins to go before the chicken is ready, cook the pasta in a large saucepan. Drain it, then return it to the saucepan. Add the pesto sauce, stir into the pasta and gently heat this through. Also cook your vegetables in this period.
- If cooking the chicken parcels in a Big Green Egg, when they are nearly done remove the platesetter using oven-proof gloves and cook direct for 2-3 mins to crisp up the bacon and finish the cook.
Hints, Tips and Pictures
- I used smoked cheddar cheese for an extra dimension of flavour. Check out my cheese smoking guide for made your own smoked cheese.
- Cut lengths of string and lay them on the worksurface, then place the bacon on top of the string. This makes tying the string around the chicken bundle easier. Same principle as the picture below, taken from bacon-wrapped pork shoulder with sage and apricot: