This recipe is based on one from the one of the Woman’s Weekly series of Cookbooks. From memory I think it was an 1980’s one called Dinner Parties, something like that.
Let me tell you, this chicken dish is as delicious now as it was was then. Don’t let my awful photo of the half-eaten meal put you off – try this one. A big plus for this recipe is that you prepare it early in the day, put it in the fridge and bake it when you’re ready. Oh, how I love things that take the strain off making meals :) Of course, the basil sauce needs to be made just before serving but that only takes minutes.
Whole chicken breasts are brushed with a mixture of melted butter, garlic and Worcestershire sauce, covered with a scrummy crumb topping, baked in the oven and served with fresh basil, olive oil, garlic and egg yolk sauce – a bit like a hollandaise.
This recipe is adaptable too, make it for 2 people or make it for 20. Too easy!
On this occasion I used 6 whole chicken breasts.
MAKE THE CRUMB TOPPING
- 2 cups of fresh bread crumbs – I just whizzed up some slices in the blender
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 crushed cloves of garlic
- the very finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 1/2 a finely chopped onion
- 1/3 of a cup Parmesan ( or similiar) cheese
- 100g finely chopped pancetta, prosciutto or bacon ( these of course can be omitted or substituted with halal or kosher products)
Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onion, garlic and pancetta (or whatever you’re using). Mix this up with all the other ingredients and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add 3 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce and a crushed clove of garlic.
Lay your chicken breasts out in a single layer in a greased baking dish.
Brush with the melted butter mixture.
Press the crumb topping onto each chicken breast.
At this stage you can cover it and put it into the fridge until you’re ready.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C and bake the chicken for about 40-50 minutes. I usually cover it for the first 30 minutes then take off the foil, drain off most of the liquid and then bake it uncovered for a while to crisp up the crumb topping a bit.
About 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve up make the basil sauce.
In a small saucepan combine 1 cup of chopped fresh basil ( measure it before you chop it), 1/3 of a cup of olive oil and 1/4 of a cup of white vinegar.
Now whisk in 2 egg yolks.
Put it on a gentle heat and slowly heat it up, slowly, slowly does it here, whisking all the time. The sauce must not boil or the egg will curdle and go funny.
Keep taking it off the stove and putting it back on if you get worried. You want it just below boiling point.
The sauce will thicken slightly.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This sauce can be poured over the chicken before it’s served (this is what I do) or served seperately for people to add themselves.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Any questions? Please do not hesitate to ask :)