This dish has a gourmet feel to it. The colors and flavors make for a feast for the eyes and stomach. It could be prepared as a starter, but it is more filling than it appears so works as a main dish served with a side of salad too. You could use capsicums/peppers of any color, but the yellow and red ones seem to have the most flavor. The smell emanating from the oven while these peppers bake is simply wonderful!
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (keep 2 tablespoons separate)
1 medium onion
250g white button mushrooms (cremini mushrooms will be fine)
2 cloves garlic
2 large chicken breasts
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
6 capsicums/peppers – colors of your choice – red and yellow are more flavorful than green peppers
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1. Heat a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil in a pan. Keep the stove on medium heat.
2. While the oil is heating up, chop the onion into small pieces.
3. Add the chopped onion to the hot oil, and while it is cooking, wash and slice the mushrooms into thin slices.
4. When the onion appears cooked, add the sliced mushrooms to the pan.
5. Keep stirring every now and then to ensure that all the mushrooms cook evenly.
6. While the mushrooms are cooking, wash and dice the chicken breasts.
7. Peel and crush the two cloves of garlic. Add to the pan. Take special care to not add the garlic earlier than this stage since garlic tastes bitter if cooked for too long.
8. Turn the oven on – preheat to 180°C.
9. When the mushrooms are cooked (they will appear brown and shrunken), add the chicken breasts, chopped basil, black pepper and salt, and stir occasionally until thoroughly cooked. Take the pan off the stove.
10. Crumble the feta and add to the above mixture.
11. Remove the stem of each pepper, cutting around the top of the pepper.
12. Scoop some of the chicken/mushroom mixture into each pepper, until they are all fully stuffed.
13. Place the stuffed peppers onto any baking tray/dish suitable for the oven.
14. Dribble the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and the 2 tablespoons of the white balsamic vinegar onto the open tops of the peppers.
15. Put the peppers into the oven when it is at temperature.
16. Bake the peppers at 180°C for 15-20 minutes, until the peppers look brown at the tops.
Serve this meal with a crisp, green salad for a filling dinner, or as an appetizer at a dinner party. Enjoy!