My mum was very much a “meat-and-three-veg” cook, until the mid eighties, when she really started trying lots of new, more technical and sophisticated recipes. Ten years later she had become a highly competent cook, easily turning out highly technical recipes, but this recipe was one of the first of her transition.
It’s really quite simple, fast to put together, great for a midweek meal. In the featured image I have prepared them with creamed sweet potatoes and beans for a freeze/re-heat meal. But my favourite part is after they have cooled, and you have removed the toothpicks, you can slice them up to serve cold for work lunches, or a fancy ploughman style lunch.
It works in the BBQ or oven of the yacht, and is great for eating cold with your hands in the middle of the race.
The sauce is also dead easy, but optional.
Serves 4, (based on two thighs per person) but is easy to scale.
- 8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs, with excess fat removed
- 8 rashes of shortcut bacon (or prosciutto)
- 16 sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small bunch of basil, chopped
- handful of grated cheddar
- 3 tablespoons of honey (optional)
You will also need two or three toothpicks per thigh.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons of wholegrain mustard
- 100 ml cooking cream
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed.
N.B. Any type of mustard will do – just use your favourite
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees fan.
On a large chopping board, lay out as much of the bacon as will fit, with the thick part at the top. Layout the chicken thighs, at the bottom narrow part of the bacon, with the side that contained the bone up. Layer in the tomatoes, basil and cheese. Then use the bacon to wrap up the thigh, with the large part of the bacon over the opening. Pin closed with two to three toothpicks (I try to keep it to a consistent number for all the thighs, so I can tell my guests how many to expect).
Place in a roasting tray, with the large part of the bacon up. At this stage, if you would like, you can spoon over a little honey. When baked, the honey gives the bacon a beautiful colour, but does add sweetness (which is why I leave it as optional – its about personal preference). Bake for 35-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
To make the sauce, add the oil to a small saucepan and gently soften the garlic. Then add the mustards and the cream, and then stir as you warm through.