About this recipe:Chicken breasts are stuffed with slices of cinnamon-spiced papaya, then pan-seared before being baked to perfection. The chicken is served with freshly cooked basmati rice and a sweet and fruity pineapple sauce.
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets
1 papaya, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 pinch ground cinnamon or to taste
75g margarine, melted
225g Ritz crackers, crushed into crumbs
190g basmati rice
250ml orange juice
1 (220g) tin pineapple rings, pulsed in a food processor until coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon dark brown soft sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch cayenne pepper
salt and ground black pepper to taste
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Preheat an oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line a baking tray with foil.
Lay a chicken breast flat onto your work surface. Use the tip of a sharp boning or paring knife to cut a pocket in the chicken breast through a 5cm slit in the side. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Place the papaya slices into the pocket of each chicken breasts, then sprinkle papaya slices with cinnamon to taste. Dip the chicken breast fillets one at a time into the melted margarine, then the cracker crumbs.
Heat 1 tablespoons of margarine in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Arrange the chicken breasts in the frying pan and cook until golden brown on each side, about 10 minutes. Place browned chicken breasts on the prepared baking tray.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, then flip each chicken breast. Continue baking until the chicken breasts are no longer pink in the centre and the juices run clear, about 20 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the centre should read at least 74 degrees C.
Bring the rice and water to the boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of margarine in the same frying pan used to brown the chicken over medium-high heat, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the orange juice, pineapple, dark brown soft sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced, about 30 minutes. Reduce the heat once more to low and continue simmering until the sauce is thickened. Serve the chicken breasts over the rice with the pineapple sauce spooned on top.