Succulent chicken and savoury Parma ham are the perfect pairing, and they’re made even more delicious in this recipe with the addition of peppery watercress. The sherry sauce gives a sophisticated twist to the dish – it’s ideal for the family as a midweek treat or for impressing your friends when they’re over for dinner!
- 100g soft cheese (half a carton)
- 75-100g bag fresh watercress, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- and crushed
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 medium-sized chicken breasts, skinned
- 4 slices Parma ham
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 2tbsp sherry (dry or medium)
Set the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Soften 60g of the cheese in a bowl and add half the watercress with the garlic, a good grating of nutmeg and seasoning. Cut a deep slit in the chicken breasts, near the top, and divide the cheese mixture between them, to fill the ‘pockets’.
Loosely wrap ham around each piece. Pack them into an oiled roasting tin, with the join underneath, drizzle with oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the ham has browned and the chicken cooked through.
Spoon juices over to keep the chicken moist, then drain the rest from the tin into a pan. Cover chicken in the tin with foil and leave for 5 minutes, w4hile you make the sauce.
Bring the juices to the boil, add the sherry and boil until reduced by half, then whisk in the rest of the cream cheese. Bring just to the boil and stir in the rest of the watercress. Season and serve to spoon over the chicken. Accompany with potatoes and green vegetables or salad.
Use soft goat’s cheese or mascarpone, if you prefer. The chicken is tasty served cold as well as hot.