Tuesday 14 July 2015

Chicken with herbs and pancetta

chicken breasts herbs basil rosemary pancetta
I love basil and so for the second year running I have decided to grow some from seed. You do have to keep a careful eye on it but once that crop grows it's well worth it. With a bit of sunshine recently the basil plants have really grown up and I've been greedily eyeing them up waiting for a chance to start picking some leaves.

I could find many ways to throw some basil leaves into a recipe but knowing I had some chicken breasts in the freezer I decided they would be perfect for the first pick of the season. I'm still using the butcher that I bought the chicken breasts from that I made Chicken Kiev Bake with. They are large and very good quality so deserve something better than simply being chopped up and chucked in a curry sauce. We usually have a Sunday roast each week but with the warmer weather we decided to have this instead. Rather than serve it with roast potatoes we had it with boulangère potatoes. I've used pancetta to wrap around the chicken because one of the local supermarkets has started selling British pancetta. If you can't get hold of pancetta use streaky bacon instead.

Serves 4

Equipment: Meat hammer or rolling pin, baking tray or oven-proof dish


4 Large chicken breasts
4 Woody rosemary sprigs
16 Basil leaves, torn
1oz (28g) Hard cheese (I used strong Cheddar) cut into small cubes
16 Pancetta rashers
Olive oil for drizzling


1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/Gas mark 5.
2. Batter the chicken breasts until flat.
3. Strip the rosemary sprigs of their leaves. Put the sprigs to one side and finely chop the rosemary leaves.
4. In the middle of each of the chicken breast put most of the cut up rosemary leaves (reserve some to sprinkle over at the end), torn basil leaves and some cheese cubes.
5. Fold over both sides of the chicken so they meet in the middle.
6. Use the rosemary sprigs as skewers to hold the chicken breasts together.
7. Place on the baking tray or in the oven-proof dish.
8. Drizzle over some olive oil over each of the chicken breasts and then sprinkle over the remaining rosemary.
10. Cook for 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Cooking with Herbs Lavender and LovageLink up your recipe of the week Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com


  1. oh, yum! Rosemary is a gorge addition #tastytuesday

    1. I have a big rosemary bush in my garden so I love using it to full affect!

  2. Great alternative to a roast dinner for summer, loving all that crispy pancetta on top :)

  3. These look delicious - crisp but succulent.I make something similar with veal and sage. You can have a look here if you are interested

  4. I absolutely LOVE this kind of bacon wrapped chicken and often do a version myself with Boursin and/or Goats cheese! FAB recipe thanks! Karen


I appreciate your comments. If you have any tips, tricks or tweaks please pass them on!