This recipe is as old as the hills. In fact, it was one of my favorites growing up, so that goes to show how truly ancient it really is. They probably ate this in medieval times… Can you tell I’m not coping with my new found 30’s status?
But how can you go wrong? It’s got bacon. It’s got chicken. It’s got cheese. CHEESE. What was the world like before cheese? What a terrible thought…
As we’re in the midst of Winter we said goodbye to some of our chickens that were really struggling in the cold and getting a bit long in the tooth. I]Or rather in the beak. OK, they were just really old. So what better way to honor them, than to use the breasts in the best dish to use free-range, organic chicken breasts in.
You can mix it up with the fillings, and really go wild. Try salami, ham, chorizo, brie, pineapple, spinach, onion, kale, sliced tomato, sun-dried tomato, pesto, feta… you name it!
So let’s get to it:
Chicken, Cheese & Bacon Parcels
Serves 4 (Unless you’re married to my husband, then it serves 2, if I’m lucky!)
4 free-range, organic chicken breasts
4 rashers of bacon (I prefer streaky)
8 slices of cheddar cheese
1 garlic clove
1 Tbl worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs
1/2 tsp mustard powder
Salt and pepper
– Preheat oven to 180C
– Line a baking tray with tin foil, and add the rashers of bacon. Slide them into the oven to slowly start cooking as the oven heats up. This also free’s up space on the stove, and spares you the menial task of flipping bacon. I’m clever (and lazy) that way.
– The secret to soft, juicy chicken breasts is to make them as flat and equal in thickness as possible. So that roughly translates to bashing the hell out of them with a mallet or sturdy object. I like to use a sandwich bag over a rolling pin. It’s great anger management.
– Heat some olive oil and butter in a heavy-based frying pan and start to brown your chicken breasts.
– As they start to brown, add the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, mixed dried herbs, mustard powder, salt & pepper (or you could season the chicken before you whacked them with a mallet, it’s up to you). Go easy on the salt, as the Worcester sauce is a salty little sea dog!
– Don’t worry about cooking the chicken all the way through, as long as they look nice and golden and start to brown on the outside, they’re done. They can finish cooking in the next step in the oven.
– Set the breasts aside to cool slightly. I just said breasts, hehehehehe!
– Check your bacon, it should be just about cooked, but not too crispy. You want it to crisp up in the oven inside the chicken rather.
– Once the chicken has cooled enough to be handled, using a sharp knife, cut them in half, but try and not cut all the way through. Think of making little pockets for the cheese and bacon.
– Add about two slices of cheese, and wrap a rasher of bacon around the cheese. Give a good grind of pepper, and fold the top of the chicken over the cheese and bacon. If it’s bulging, you could use a toothpick to secure them closed while they go into the oven.
– Once all your chickeny parcels are filled, add them to the baking tray you used to cook the bacon on, and slip into the oven to finish off the chicken and bacon, and melt the cheese. About 10 – 15 minutes. Serve with a big old salad or some stunning roast veggies. Mmmmm enjoy!