Chicken and yellow pepper loaf

Chicken and yellow pepper loaf


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About this recipe: This mustardy chicken and pepper loaf, wrapped in thin slices of courgette instead of high-fat bacon, is perfectly complemented by the fresh tomato and basil sauce – a very colourful dish, full of savoury flavours. Serve the loaf hot with a potato and leek mash, or try it cold with a crunchy raw vegetable salad.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 4 

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large courgettes, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 2 yellow peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 bunches of spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • Tomato and basil sauce
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 450 g (1 lb) plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil, about 20 g (3/4 oz), stalks discarded and large leaves torn into smaller pieces
  • pinch of caster sugar
  • few drops of Tabasco sauce

Prep:40min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr40min 

  1. Heat a ridged cast-iron grill pan or griddle, then brush with about 1 tsp of the oil. Grill the courgette slices, in batches, until tender, turning to mark both sides with charred lines. Add a little more oil when necessary. Alternatively, brush the courgette slices with 1 tbsp oil and cook under the grill for 10 minutes, turning once.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, add the peppers and cook for 5–6 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened and golden. Add the spring onions and garlic, and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. Sprinkle over the mustard and stir well. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and leave to cool slightly.
  3. Add the minced chicken and some seasoning to the bowl and, using your hands, mix well to combine the ingredients thoroughly.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Use the courgette slices to line a 900 g (2 lb) loaf tin, laying them crossways and slightly overlapping. Arrange them so the ends hang over the sides of the loaf tin. Spoon the chicken mixture into the tin, pushing the mixture into the corners, and smooth the surface. Fold the ends of the courgette slices over the top of the chicken filling.
  5. Set the loaf tin in a roasting tin of water (bain marie). Bake for 1 hour or until the loaf is cooked through; the juices should run clear when a knife is inserted into the centre.
  6. About 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, put all the sauce ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan, reserving a few small basil sprigs for garnish. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 15–20 minutes or until the excess tomato liquid has evaporated. Press the sauce through a sieve into a clean pan, and season to taste. Reheat the sauce.
  7. Drain off the juices from the loaf tin, then slice the loaf. Serve hot, with the tomato sauce and garnished with the reserved basil sprigs.

Some more ideas

Use 1 tbsp Dijon mustard instead of the mustard powder. * Replace the fresh tomatoes in the sauce with 2 cans chopped tomatoes, 400 g each. * For a chicken and spinach loaf, line the tin with spinach instead of courgettes. Blanch 200 g (7 oz) large spinach leaves in boiling water just to wilt, then drain and dry on kitchen paper. Brush the tin very lightly with oil. Arrange the spinach leaves over the bottom and sides of the tin, reserving enough to cover the top of the chicken filling. Add another 200 g (7 oz) spinach, cooked, well drained and chopped, to the chicken and pepper mixture.

Plus points

Tomatoes contain lycopene, a carotenoid compound that acts as an antioxidant. Recent studies suggest that lycopene may help to protect against bladder and pancreatic cancers. * Both the yellow peppers and courgettes provide vitamin C and beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. The courgettes also contribute folate.

Each serving provides

B6, B12, C, folate * A, B1, E, niacin, copper, iron, potassium, zinc * B2, calcium, selenium

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