Pollo Senese – by Giancarlo Caldesi

31 May 2007
Pollo Senese – by Giancarlo Caldesi

(Serves four)

4 chicken breasts
200g Pecorino cheese, cut into four slices
12 slices of speck (3 for each breast)
Sea salt and crushed black pepper
4tbs extra virgin olive oil
50ml white wine
50ml chicken stock
100ml Chalice balsamic vinegar
1tsp caster sugar (optional)
4 handfuls rocket salad


Make a 2cm incision at the thick end of each chicken breast. Insert a slice of Pecorino cheese inside the pocket.

Lay three slices of speck on a chopping board, making sure they slightly overlap. Season the stuffed chicken breast with salt and pepper and place it on top of the speck slices. Roll the speck tightly around the chicken breast.

Put 2tbs of olive oil in a hot frying pan, add the chicken breasts and cook for about three minutes until the speck is golden brown on all sides. Remove any extra oil from the pan and add 50ml of white wine. Reduce the wine for a couple of minutes, then add the chicken stock. Once the stock is heated transfer the chicken and its juices to an ovenproof dish, adding the other 2tbs of olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 20 minutes, or a little longer depending on size.

While the chicken is in the oven, reduce the balsamic vinegar by pouring it in a hot pan and letting it simmer for a few minutes. A teaspoon of white caster sugar can be added to the pan to enhance the sweetness and add more body, if required.

Prepare four plates with a handful of rocket salad on each. Take the chicken out of the oven and place one breast on each plate. Add the balsamic vinegar reduction to the leftover juices from the ovenproof dish and stir. Pour over the chicken and serve immediately with crushed potatoes, wild garlic and chives.

By Giancarlo Caldesi, of Caldesi restaurant, London, for Chalice

Caldesi Restaurant>>
Chef Giancarlo Caldesi to move to Michelin-laden Bray>>

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