This is a firm favourite in the Maguire household.


Makes 4

Prep 20 mins

Cook 30 mins

  • 4 chicken fillets (preferably corn-fed)
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 heaped tsp Cajun spice
  • 4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 small ciabatta rolls
  • 150g extra-mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp ready-made pesto
  • 200g mixed green salad leaves

For the balsamic dressing:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


This is a firm favourite in the Maguire household. It's a great dish for a sudden influx of hungry people – so fast and easy to prepare. Everybody can help and you'll have it on the table in no time at all.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c (350°F/gas mark 4).
  2. Put the chicken in a baking dish and rub with the oil, then scatter over the cajun spice and season with salt and pepper. Pour about 4 tablespoons of water into the dish around the chicken to ensure it stays lovely and moist. roast for 18–20 minutes, until just cooked through and tender. Leave to cool, then cut into slices.
  3. Mix half of the sweet chilli sauce in a small bowl with the mayonnaise and season to taste. Slice the ciabatta rolls in half and arrange on
  4. a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread over the chilli mayonnaise and arrange the chicken slices on top in an overlapping layer. cover with the cheddar cheese and drizzle the rest of the chilli sauce on top in zigzag lines, then finish with the pesto in a similar fashion. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and lightly golden.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the balsamic dressing, put the oil, vinegar, honey and mustard in a tall container with 2 tablespoons of water and blend until smooth, then season to taste. Put the salad into a bowl and use enough of the dressing to lightly coat the leaves.
  6. To serve, cut each cajun chicken melt in half again on the diagonal and arrange on plates with some of the dressed salad.