6 chicken breasts, skin on
2TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 slices of pancetta, finely sliced
4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
55g/2oz fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
Zest of 1 lemon
3TBS Dijon mustard
2TBS runny honey
290ml/½pt chicken stock
200ml pot full-fat crème fraiche
Juice of ½ lemon
- Preheat oven to 200c/400f/GM6/Aga – Roasting oven.
- Melt the butter and oil and soften the onion over a gentle heat for 15mins. When really soft and caramelised, add the pancetta and thyme leaves and fry for a further 5mins. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Add the breadcrumbs, parmesan, beaten egg and lemon zest.
- Loosen the skin from the chicken breast, leaving one side attached. Season the chicken breasts and spread some of the thyme mixture under the skin of each, then smooth the skin over.
- Heat a large saute pan and when really hot, place the chicken breasts in – skin side down, brown and then turn over, seal the other side for 2mins.
- Mix together the mustard and honey and spread over the chicken.
- Place the saute pan into the oven (or transfer the chicken to a roasting dish if your pan doesn’t go in the oven) and roast the chicken for 15mins or until it is cooked through and the skin golden brown.
- Remove the pan from the oven and lift the chicken out into an ovenproof dish.
- Pour the roasting juices into a bowl and spoon away the oil on top. Keep the dark juices and pour back into the pan along with the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5mins, then remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraiche and lemon juice. Check for seasoning, scatter over some fresh thyme and serve.
Think Ahead & Helpful Hints
- The chicken breasts can be stuffed and browned off a day in advance, then brought to room temperature before finishing off the cooking.
- You can prepare the chicken up to point 5 and then freeze.