This is borrowed from Jamie Oliver’s, ‘Jamie’s Dinners’, and it looks like an odd, odd recipe…meaning the banana stuffed chicken, but we all agreed, it’s weirdly good – enjoy!

Pan-Baked Chicken Maryland

1 package (500 g) bacon

1 can (540 mL/19 oz) cannellini beans, drained

3 cans (341 mL/12 oz) kernel corn, drained – OR – 4 fresh cobs, kernels sliced off

4 or 5 chicken breasts

2 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 c. EACH white wine AND cream

fresh mint for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 and get out a large 9 x 13 casserole – I used my lasagna pan.  Lay out the bacon across the bottom of the pan, overlapping it as little as possible and pop the casserole in the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove the bacon to a plate and allow it to cool enough to handle, then give the pan a bit of a wipe with paper towel – you want about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat left on the bottom.  (Alternatively, you could use packaged pre-cooked bacon and then add a couple of tablespoons of chopped butter to the dish).

Use your hands to squish about half of the beans and add these, along with all of the corn, to the casserole.  To prep the chicken (you can do this while the bacon is cooking), make a slit down the thickest portion of the breast to make a flap, squish in as much banana as will fit (a couple of tablespoons), fold the flap back over the exposed banana, and then place the stuffed chicken pieces on top of the corn and bean mix in your casserole.  You want the chicken to be snug, but not jammed into the pan. Sprinkle all of the stuffed chicken liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Pour the wine and cream into the casserole, making sure to evenly distribute it without disturbing the chicken, then drape and tuck the bacon slices over all of the chicken pieces – ideally there should now be no exposed chicken.  Bake for 45 to 60 minutes until the chicken’s internal temperature is 165.  Sprinkle with fresh mint and serve it up family style with a big salad.

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