Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Crunchy chilli chicken with rocket pesto

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 2
From Saturday Kitchen


  1. To make the topping, place the tomatoes, chilli, anchovy, red pepper, onion and garlic into a blender and purée to a rough paste.

  2. Add the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.

  3. Combine this purée with the instant polenta in a bowl.

  4. Place all the pesto ingredients in the blender and blend into a fine purée. Remove from the blender and leave to one side.

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

  6. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a pan and seal the chicken breasts for a few minutes on each side to colour the flesh.

  7. Place the chicken breasts on an oven tray and top each with a thick coating of the polenta mixture.

  8. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes to cook the chicken through and allow the topping to go crunchy.

  9. Place the chicken breasts on a plate and serve with a dollop of the rocket pesto on the side.


  • 2 x 225g/8oz chicken breasts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the topping

  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • ¼ fresh red chilli, de-seeded
  • 2 anchovy fillets, from a can
  • ¼ red pepper, de-seeded
  • ¼ small red onion peeled
  • ½ garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 115g/4oz instant polenta

For the rocket pesto

  • 115g/4oz rocket leaves
  • ½ garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 tbsp pine kernels, toasted
  • 8 tbsp olive oil

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