Chicken in Pancetta with Garlic Cream

This can be prepared up to a day ahead. The pancetta wraps help keep the breast meat moist and succulent

Valentine's Day Chicken Breasts in Pancetta with Garlic Cream


2 boned free-range chicken breasts

50g (2 oz) garlic cream cheese, e.g. Boursin

Salt and white pepper

2 slices pancetta

A little soft butter

100 ml (3½ fl oz) dry white wine

½ tsp cornflour

100 ml (3½ fl oz) full-fat crème fraîche

Chopped fresh parsley

Serves 2


1. Remove the skin from each of the chicken breasts. Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket lengthways across each breast and spread half the garlic cream cheese in the centre of each. Season very lightly with salt and more generously with white pepper. Wrap each breast neatly in a slice of pancetta. Lightly butter the base of a small baking dish and arrange the assembled chicken breasts inside.

2. Slide the baking dish on a grid shelf on the second set of runners at the top of the main oven at 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on size, until starting to colour (if browning too quickly, transfer to the floor of the oven towards the end of this period).  Once coloured and cooked through, finally transfer to a warmed serving dish and keep hot in the lower oven.

3. To make the sauce, add the wine to the baking dish and return to the oven for five minutes to dissolve the cooking juices.  Pour into a small saucepan and add the rest of the cheese.  Slake the cornflour in a cup with a little cold water and whisk into the sauce, heat gently on the simmering end of the hotplate. 

4. Stir in the crème fraîche and taste and adjust the seasoning. Just before serving stir in the freshly chopped parsley. Serve each portion with a little of the sauce to coat, serving the rest to hand.

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