chicken with tomato, basil and mascarpone

Tom Kerridge

Low-fat mascarpone gives this Italian-style dish a beautiful, rich creaminess. Some people are averse to using tomatoes and mascarpone together, but the combination works well and makes a great alternative to high-calorie sauces that use butter or cream.

Calories: 355 per serving

serves 2 people

1 skinless chicken crown (750g)
500ml fresh chicken stock
1 tsp olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 tbsp basil, chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish
1 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
50g reduced-fat mascarpone
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
150g fine green beans, steamed, to serve

Place the chicken crown, breast side down, in a medium pan and pour on the stock and 500ml water. If it’s not completely covered, add more water. Bring up to a gentle simmer over a medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes, then turn the chicken over and cook for a further 10 minutes, then leave the chicken to cool in the stock.

When cool, lift the chicken out of the pan and reserve 200ml of the stock. Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the chicken breasts from the bone, keeping them whole.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes to soften, adding a splash of water if it starts to stick. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, reserved chicken stock, oregano, some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the chopped basil, balsamic vinegar and chicken breasts. Heat through for about 8 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, season the mascarpone with salt, pepper and the chilli flakes, mixing well. Add to the pan and stir to combine with the sauce.

Transfer the chicken breasts to warmed plates and spoon over the sauce. Scatter with basil leaves and serve with steamed beans.