Martini and Mascarpone Chicken
Serve this robust Italian-style dish without additional potatoes, pasta or rice, accompanied by a large mixed salad. It's ready in under 30 minutes and you can make extra and freeze for another day.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (each around 150g)
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 150ml sweet Martini Rosso, Madeira or Marsala
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 2tbsp tomato puree
- 1tsp dried oregano
- ½tsp dried chilli flakes
- 300ml chicken stock (made with 1 chicken stock cube)
- 150g mascarpone cheese
- handful fresh basil, leaves roughly torn
- flaked sea salt and ground black pepper
Put the chicken on a board and cover with a piece of cling film. Bash the thickest part of each breast lightly with a rolling pin until the chicken is the same thickness all over. Take off the cling film and season chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or saute pan. Fry the chicken, seasoned side down, over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until nicely browned. Turn over and season on the other side. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add the onion and remaining oil to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is softened and lightly browned, stirring regularly. Stir in the garlic and cook for a few seconds more. (Don’t allow the garlic to burn or it will make the sauce taste bitter.)
Add the Martini and bubble for a few seconds before adding the canned tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano, chilli flakes and chicken stock to the pan. Bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Place the chicken breasts back into the pan and simmer gently in the hot sauce for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked throughout and the sauce has thickened. Spoon the mascarpone in small heaps on top and cook, without stirring, for a further 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and scatter the basil leaves over.
Serve with a bowl of freshly cooked pasta or crusty bread and a large mixed salad.
Freeze the cooked and chilled chicken without the mascarpone or basil in a freezer-proof container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge then transfer to a suitable dish and microwave on high for about 5 minutes. Stir well, top with mascarpone and microwave for a further 30 seconds or until piping hot. Garnish with basil.