Even the really fussiest of fussy eaters have eaten this Pancetta-Wrapped Chicken with Pesto in my house – maybe it’s the crispy bacon (my kids will eat anything wrapped in bacon). The prep is a bit fiddly but once they’re all ready to go in the oven you get 45 minutes while they cook to have a glass of wine/think about what you’re going to serve with it. I haven’t experimented yet but you could probably try any number of fillings for the chicken or leave out the pesto altogether.
- Skinless chicken breasts (one per person)
- 6 rashers of pancetta per person (or bacon could work if it's quite thinly sliced).
- Fresh pesto (optional - and I use the ready-made fresh stuff from the chilled section of the supermarket, not the stuff in jars which I’m not keen on.)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
- Lay out one sheet of foil per chicken breast on your worktop.
- Lay out your rashers of bacon/pancetta on the foil, lengthwise, with a slight overlap between the rashers and in a rectangle slightly larger than your chicken breast. About 5 – 6 slices works.
- Make a few slashes with a knife in the thick part of each chicken breast, lay each breast between two sheets of cling film and give each one a bashing with a rolling pin until they’re about 1 cm thick (good for taking out the day’s frustrations).
- Remove the cling film and arrange your chicken horizontally along the pancetta layer.
- Roll the pancetta/chicken into a tight sausage shape, wrap with foil and twist each end to look like a cracker.
- Put them in the oven for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes take them out and unwrap the foil (be really careful, they’re very hot) and then put back in the oven to brown for the remaining 15 minutes.
- If I’m serving this to adults I serve it like the main photo. In the real world, experience has taught me to serve it to my kids without any of the green stuff on the plate.
Time: 1 hour: 15 minutes prep, 45 minutes in the oven