Pancetta-wrapped Chicken with Tomato,
Pine Nut and Basil Stuffing
Christine Hamilton TV personality and 2010 Celebrity finalist
Preparation time 1 hour, plus chilling
Cooking time 1 hour 20 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas 4). Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for a few minutes until golden and set aside in a large bowl. Add 1 tbsp of the oil to the pan and, on medium heat, cook 2 of the shallots and the garlic for 5 minutes. Add to the pine nuts and then add the breadcrumbs, basil, egg, and some salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- On 4 sheets of foil, lay 5-6 pancetta slices so they are overlapping and in a rectangle slightly larger than the chicken breasts. Make a few slashes in the thickest part of each breast, and lay between 2 sheets of cling film. Use a rolling pin to bash the chicken until about 1cm (1/2 in) thick and then arrange over the pancetta.
- Spoon the tomatoes and stuffing over the chicken in a strip along one of the shortest sides, and roll into a log shape. Wrap tightly in foil, twisting the ends to secure, then chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Place the chicken parcels on a roasting tray. Cook for 30 minutes, then unwrap the foil (reserving any juices left in the foil parcels) and cook for a further 15 minutes or until cooked.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by cooking the remaining shallots in a little olive oil with the thyme sprigs for about 3 minutes or until soft. Add the vermouth and simmer until reduced by half, then stir in the cream, honey, and any reserved juices. Reduce the sauce again by half and remove from the heat before whisking in the butter.
- In separate pans, boil the potatoes and carrots in salted water until tender. Melt the butter in a frying pan, then gently braise the lettuce with a pinch of sugar and some seasoning for 5-8 minutes, until golden. Slice the chicken and serve alongside the vegetables, spooning over the sauce.