Recipe tomato dish with chicken

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Last week I was on a press trip for the first time! woohoo! I was asked by Knorr if I wanted to see and taste how they sustainably grow and process ‘their’ tomatoes in Spain.

Besides the fact that the Spanish food and the climate appealed to me, I was also very curious how it all works. Because do real tomatoes go in their bags? and how? So I got all the answers during those 2 days in Badajoz in Extremadura.

Together with a group I traveled to Lisbon where we took the transfer (and a pastel de nata) to Badajoz. The next morning we left for a Knorr Landmark Farm that grows tomatoes sustainably on the field. This means, among other things, that a natural ecosystem is used. They showed us that insect hotels, bird houses and frog ponds were used to combat pests. And during harvesting, the tomatoes that are not good are immediately ‘spit out’ on the land by the harvesting truck and plowed, making it a natural fertilizer for the next crop. Things such as the condition of the soil, temperature and the number of insects are all registered so that the amount of water and fertilizer can be adjusted and reduced.

Sounds fantastic right! There are now 40 companies that have also been awarded the title Knorr Landmark Farm under the Rules for Sustainable Farming of knorr. They show the positive impact of sustainable agriculture on the quality of their harvest and on the environment. But there is still a lot to do, the plan is that by 2020 all companies supplying Knorr will comply with these rules.

Then we continued the trip to the factory where we got a very sexy outfit (not!) and a hairnet. We saw how the tomatoes were checked from the truck and then washed. This water is always recycled. It looked like a big swimming paradise with slides and pools where tomatoes floated. The tomatoes were processed in 3 different ways: into pieces (you know them from cans or packs), into tomato puree and into tomato powder. In the latter process, almost all moisture is removed and dried at high speed without the use of chemicals. And then packed for delivery to Knorr, for example. Harvesting and delivery to the factory takes about 3 hours, and the tomatoes are processed into powder within 5 hours. So that goes super fast.And yes, there are real tomatoes in a package.

I also learned that not all tomatoes are suitable for this. The ‘regular’ tomato contains too much water, so that there is little left when you puree or dry it. That is why they use a kind of firm roma tomatoes, these have a nice taste because they are ripened in the sun in the field and also have a low moisture content. We were also allowed to taste both types of tomatoes and there was clearly a lot of difference in taste and structure.

The next day we had a cooking session led by 4 chefs from Knorr from different countries. I thought a little looking and stirring. But no, it was a real cooking battle! Teams competed for the tastiest dish and best spice mix that we had to make within 1.5 hours and with 6 main ingredients. And guess what! My team won with a melanzane parmigiana and stuffed iberico ham with zucchini. Then have lunch and take the bus back to the airport. It was a very nice experience and I learned a lot. And I hope that many more companies will follow suit that follow the example of the tomato farm in Badajoz. And to stay in the tomato ‘vibe’ I made a delicious tomato dish with chicken after I got home.

Recipe tomato dish with chicken



4 chicken breasts
750 gr roma tomatoes
Pinch of paprika
Fresh basil
1 clove of garlic
1 red pepper
1 ball of mozzarella
To go with: pasta, gnocchi, rice or bread


Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a little oil in a (grill) pan and fry the chicken for about 5 minutes so that it is nicely colored on the outside. It doesn’t have to be cooked on the inside yet. Cut the tomatoes into pieces and put them in a baking dish. Chop the garlic and red pepper very finely and stir them into the tomatoes together with a good pinch of pepper, salt and paprika.

Place the chicken between the tomatoes and place pieces of mozzarella on top. Place the oven dish in the oven for 20 minutes and, if possible, switch on the grill for the last 5 minutes for a nice au gratin crust. Sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve with pasta, gnocchi, rice or dip some bread in it.

This article was produced in collaboration with Knorr.

Source: Leukerecepten by leukerecepten-nl.
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