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Chicken with Pesto, Taleggio, and Roasted Tomatoes

We find that putting a boneless chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and pounding them to an even thickness helps them to cook more evenly and a bit faster. Not only that, it’s fantastic stress relief! Here, the chicken is then topped with a mixture of pesto, cream cheese, fresh basil, and diced Taleggio, and finally, fresh bread crumbs. With a creamy layer of baked cheese and a crunchy layer of breadcrumbs, this is terrific!

Chicken with Pesto, Taleggio, and Roasted Tomatoes

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6½ oz. Taleggio* cheese, straight from the fridge and cut into small cubes (2 cups)
2 tbs. chopped fresh basil leaves
3 tbs. cream cheese
3 tbs. prepared basil pesto
1¾ oz. fresh bread crumbs (1 cup)
pinch of paprika
1 lb. cherry tomatoes
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. balsamic vinegar

Heat the oven to 425°F. Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in an ovenproof dish and season well. (Lining the dish with foil helps with clean up.)  Mix together the Taleggio, basil, cream cheese, and pesto. Season, then spread over the chicken breasts in an even layer. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and dust with paprika.

Bake for 20 minutes, then arrange the tomatoes around the chicken, pour the oil and vinegar over them and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through but being careful not to overcook

*Use Fontina if Taleggio is unavailable.

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