As much as I would love to claim that I came up with the idea of wrapping bacon around chicken and stuffing it with various ingredients, I can’t. This idea has been around for a long time, and there are so many varieties of things to wrap inside the bacon with the chicken that it is a great recipe to experiment with to make your own.
These little parcels of protein and goodness are wonderful cold too, either whole or sliced up so be sure to make plenty extra for leftovers. (You will see the quantity I made in the photos for 2 people, and this is why!) You can serve them with the Gypsy Sauce below or they are great on their own too.
- 6 chicken breasts (allow at least 1 per person)
- 12 strips of bacon (or twice as many strips as you have chicken breasts)
- large handful of semi-dried tomatoes (about 4-6 per whole breast)
- 12-20 large basil leaves
- 1 can tinned chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbs olives
- 1 tsp capers
- 2 gloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves (remove the stalks)
- 1tbs red wine (excellent excuse to open a bottle)
- cracked pepper
- pinch dried sage
- pinch dried oregano
Heat the oven to 200 degrees celicus.
Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you get double the chicken fillets. On top of each piece, lay a few of the semi-dried tomatoes, and tear up some basil and place it on top. Wrap the piece of chicken with a slice of bacon to secure the tomatoes and basil in place. Repeat this for every fillet, then lay the wrapped parcels on the foil-lined oven tray. You can drizzle a little olive oil over the top here if you wish.
Cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Switch the oven setting to grill (broiler in the US) and move the tray higher in the oven (this will crisp the bacon). Cook for another 15 minutes or until cooked through. While the chicken is under the grill, heat some olive oil in a small frying pan. Lightly brown the garlic. Add the tinned tomatoes and all other ingredients in the Gypsy Sauce, stirring regularly over a low heat.
Serve the chicken parcels topped with the gypsy sauce, a fresh garden salad or seasonal greens.
Some variation ideas for this recipe are to top the chicken with fresh sage leaves and a few capers/some chopped olives/anchovies/mozzarella, anything you like really. Another alternative is to make a slit in the side of the chicken breast and stuff the ingredients in there instead of on the top before wrapping in bacon, which looks great of you want to slice the chicken in half width ways after cooking to reveal the stuffing inside!