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Stuffed chicken breast in Parma ham

Stuffed chicken breast with Parma ham

 I never once bunked off school….maybe I took an extra day to ‘recover’ but I played it pretty straight! So enter stage left 7 year old son, slightly flushed and hiding under the fleece on the sofa this week. Mummy, I can’t go to school today…

You know that feeling when you feel the whole truth isn’t being exposed especially when you catch a glimpse of those mouth corners turning up at the thought of a day at home without his brother! As it transpired, (and pleased my senses served me well) an admittance of, I’m not actually that ill mum was revealed an hour later, said 7 year was promptly chauffeured to school by 10am!

But it got me thinking… If I didn’t bunk school, I must have stretched the truth at some point!?! And my memory served me well! So in the early 80s I was a keen gymnast, and I was in a local ‘friendly’ competition. I was doing really well, in the top spot, in fact after bars and beam, and it was time for the vault. As I did my run up, I somehow didn’t get it right, and just ran up the springboard. You get 2 chances. No pressure on the next one!

So off I run again, gaining speed and, damn. Did the same again. But fully knowing this was my last chance…I feign a twisted ankle. Oh dear. The judges decided to give me another go, to which I did said vault successfully. So there we go. I went on to perform a successful floor routine and took the gold. But unlike him, I didn’t get found out. Although I did fess up to my gym pal Tracy at our friend Hayley’s wedding a couple of years ago and I haven’t unduly accepted any Gold medals since!

As an adult, I find it hard to see our offspring skew the truth, but I guess we have all done it, and the important thing is we learn from it. There are many layers to us all and I guess each one shapes the person we are today and there is no shame in that!

This weeks recipe is a chicken breast masquerading as something else, as it is has hidden treasures inside of mozzarella and cleverly concealed in Parma ham! It’s an awesome meal that is fuss free because it can be prepped ahead of time, and cooked within 20 mins. Prepare the chicken and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it. The mash can be cooked, mashed, and then reheat and add the Parmesan when you are ready.

I hope you are enjoying reading the Fuss Free Foodie blog and tutorials?! If you are I am looking to add to my crack team of sharers to reach out to a larger audience, so you can either hit the share buttons below or share directly from Facebook if this resonates with you and have friends who will enjoy the Fuss Free Foodie too! Either way, thank you for reading and your support …Lisa x

Stuffed chicken breast wrapped in Parma ham (Serves 2)

2 chicken breasts (approx 170g each)
1 ball of mozzarella (125g)
(Optional) 6 sheets of Parma ham or bacon

Chicken prep:

  1. Take the chicken breast and flatten it out by covering the chicken with cling film and whacking it with a rolling pin!
  2. Lay out the chicken and put about 35g of mozzarella in the middle. Try not to over fill it. Lay out 3 sheets of Parma ham so they overlap.
  3. Lay the chicken onto the ham, making sure that the gap that holds in the mozzarella is folded over, and faces down onto the ham so that it has a complete seal.
  4. Pull up the sides of the ham around the chicken breast, almost tucking it in as you go around.
  5. Place on a plate, cover and keep in the fridge until ready to cook. Pull out the chicken breast 1/2 an hour before you are ready to cook.
  6. Chicken cooking: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Use a heavy based frying pan suitable for the oven on a medium-high heat, rub the bottom of the pan with oil.
  7. If you do not have a pan that goes into the oven, fry in the pan and then transfer to a tray that has warmed in the oven.
  8. The idea is to gain a little colour on 3 sides of the chicken. So over 7-8 minutes, colour up a side and then turn it around onto the next side. With the side that has no colour leave this facing down in the pan, and place the pan in the oven. (Or place the chicken onto the tray).
  9. once the chicken has had 7 minutes, turn it over to cook through the other side for another 7 minutes. It should take around 20 minutes total cooking, but bear in mind it will take less/more time if your chicken breast is different in size. If the mozzarella starts to come out, its another sign it is done.
  10. Rest the chicken on a clean plate before serving.

Sweet Potato Mash (Serves 2)

650g sweet potato, chopped into 1cm dice
50g butter
40g Parmesan
Pinch of chilli flakes
Salt and pepper

  1. Add 25g of the butter to a large pan and melt. Add the chopped sweet potato, coat it in the butter and cook for 20-25 minutes on a medium heat with a lid on. Stir every 5 minutes to avoid it sticking or browning. The steam created by having the lid on will help it soften.
  2. Mash the sweet potato with a fork, roughly. Add the rest of the butter, and stir briskly with a wooden spoon. Add the chilli and pepper, and a little salt. If you are preparing the mash ahead of time set the mash aside until you are ready. Reheat the mash, and then continue with step 3.
  3. Add the Parmesan, check if the mash needs any more salt or pepper. Parmesan has a salty note so be careful not to add too much salt at stage 2!

We served this dish with kale, but spinach or any other greens will work too! Serve the chicken sliced to expose the stuffed inside and enjoy! Like it? Feel free to share or pin for later with the buttons below!

Fuss Free ideas…
1. Add a teaspoon of pesto to the inside of the chicken, along with the mozzarella
2. Add a few chopped sun-dried tomatoes and a sprinkle of dried oregano with the mozzarella
3. Leave off the ham, season the chicken with salt and pepper or just use bacon instead

Care to share....?