Crispy chicken stuffed with smoked Applewood, ham and sage, with garlic potatoes 
and a tomato salsa


My favourite spring recipe!


Finally, here it comes, the light at the end of the tunnel. “Normality” is on its way, and so’s the sun. As spring pokes its lovely, bright face around the corner and the season changes, so do our eating habits.


Bid a fond farewell to the heavy, slow cooked dishes that carried us through these dreary winter months, and say hello to the zingier, brighter flavours of spring.


My restaurant, Hercules Revived, is due to reopen soon, so I thought I’d share one of our most popular spring dishes that finds its way back onto our menu every year.



Thanks to my Head Chef Glyn Windross for coming up with this delicious signature dish and allowing me to share it!


“But what about the wine?” I hear you ask!


With this dish, I love a Chardonnay or a Riesling.


You can match the rich flavours of the breaded chicken and smoked cheese with a fruity, round-bodied Chardonnay from Australia or California.


Or you can look to cut through the richness of the dish with a crisp, dry Riesling from Australia or New Zealand. It’ll blend beautifully with the tomato salsa!


Here are the ingredients:


Crispy chicken stuffed with smoked applewood, ham and sage,

with garlic potatoes and a tomato salsa

Serves 4


Half a punnet of cherry tomatoes

4 medium-sized spring onions

250ml passata or tomato juice

1 tbsp of honey

50ml olive oil

Salt and pepper

500g of new potatoes

1 tsp of garlic purée

4 chicken breasts

3 eggs

4 sage leaves

Applewood smoked cheese (or any other smoked cheddar)

3 tbsp vegetable oil

100g plain flour

175g dried breadcrumbs

50g butter



Method

1. Pre-heat your oven to 170°C(/180°C fan assisted). Quarter the tomatoes and finely slice the spring onions. Add into one dish with the passata, honey and olive oil. Mix together with a spoon and season to taste. There’s your tomato salsa!

2. Part boil your new potatoes in salt water until they’re still slightly under-cooked. While the potatoes are boiling, cut the Applewood cheese into four chunks, pop a sage leaf on top and wrap with the ham.

3. Lay a chicken breast on a chopping board and use a sharp knife to make a deep pocket inside the breast. The easiest way is to push the point of the knife into the fat end and keep going halfway into the fillet. (Be careful not to cut all the way through or the butter will leak out when cooking.) Repeat with the remaining breasts, then push one wrapped Applewood cheese inside each chicken breast.


4. Once the potatoes are part boiled, cut them into wedges and add them into a hot pan with butter and the garlic. Cook for two minutes before removing and putting in a baking tray. Then cook in the oven for 15 minutes until brown.


5. Set aside three bowls for the seasoned breadcrumbs, eggs and flour. Dip each breast in the flour, then into the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Heat your vegetable oil in pan and fry until golden on both sides. Remove and finish off in the oven for 15-20 minutes. You’ll know when the chicken is ready when the cheese starts to run.


It’s mouth-watering stuff! Put it all together and plate up for your first delicious spring meal.


Got another favourite recipe you like to pull out when the sun starts shining? Send me an email to hello@myvirtualconnoisseur.co.uk and tell me all about it!