Chilli polenta-coated chicken with rocket pesto and roast potatoes


For the chicken
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp crushed dried red chillies
  • ¼ red pepper, roughly chopped
  • ¼ red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 110g/4oz instant polenta
  • 4 x 225g/8oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
For the rocket pesto
  • 110g/4oz rocket leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
For the roast potatoes
  • 3 large baking potatoes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  2. Place the tomatoes, chilli, crushed chillies, red pepper, red onion and garlic into a food processor and blend to a paste.

  3. Stir in two tablespoons of olive oil and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  4. Place the paste into a bowl, add the polenta and mix together well.

  5. Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of cling film and flatten slightly with a meat mallet or rolling pin, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  6. Heat a frying pan until hot and add one tablespoon of olive oil and the chicken breasts. Cook on each side, until golden-brown, then place onto a baking tray. Spread the polenta mixture over the top of the chicken breasts then transfer to the oven and roast for 12-15 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through. (If the polenta topping is still slightly soft, place the chicken under a grill on its highest setting for 2-3 minutes, until crisp and golden-brown.)

  7. For the pesto, place the rocket, garlic, pine nuts, lime juice and olive oil into a clean food processor and blend to a fine paste.

  8. For the roast potatoes, slice the potatoes lengthways into wedges and place into a bowl with the olive oil, paprika and salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss well to coat the potatoes, then place on a baking tray. Transfer to the oven to roast for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through and crisp on the outside.

  9. To serve, place each chicken breast onto a warmed plate with a dollop of pesto and a few roast potatoes alongside.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

30 mins to 1 hour preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4

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