In March 2011, I’d been dieting for a few months and was starting to branch out with my recipes. I love Hunter’s Chicken and decided I wanted to make a healthier version of it.
For those of you that don’t know, Hunter’s Chicken is a chicken breast covered in barbecue sauce, wrapped in bacon, topped with cheese and baked. It doesn’t scream “Health food” at you. But I found a way of making a tangy sauce that was healthy, trimmed the fat off my bacon, got some low-fat cheese and bang. I made Hunter’s Chicken, ate it every day for a week because it was so delicious, chucked the recipe on my brand-new blog and forgot about it.
That recipe is probably the reason this blog is as successful as it is. Most of my referrals are from people sharing that recipe. People talk about it in forums, share it with their friends on Facebook…it’s astonishing how popular it’s become. I mean, I can understand why. It’s delicious. But I never expected it to take off this much.
But this new version? This I hope gets the recognition it deserves, because it is GOOD.
I noticed that when I was ordering Hunter’s Chicken in restaurants, it was often coming in a little dish. This allowed there to be a LOT more sauce, as it was all contained. Intrigued, I had a go at recreating it and this is the result.
The recipe is pretty much the same. You make a spicy, sweet sauce – but you don’t reduce it quite so much. Then you slice a chicken breast and put it in a dish, cover it in the sauce, and then cover with bacon.
Top with grated cheese and bake in the oven. You end up with something really quite special.
If you’re a fan of the old recipe then absolutely feel free to stick with that one. But I think you should give this a go. You’ll like it. I promise.
- 1 red onion or 3 shallots
- Half a teaspoon of chilli powder (or more, if you like it hot)
- 400ml of passata
- 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- A good shake of Lea and Perrins
- 4 tablespoons of artificial sweetener
- 4 chicken breasts
- 8 slices of back bacon
- 120g mature reduced-fat cheddar
- Veg and chips, to serve
- Peel and finely chop the onion/shallots. Put in a frying pan, sprinkle over the chilli powder and fry until soft
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Keep the sauce on a medium and stir it occasionally whilst you prepare the chicken
- Pre-heat the oven to about 210C. Take four ovenproof dishes that are just large enough to serve your chicken in. Spray with Fry Light
- Slit the chicken breasts down the middle, taking care not to go through the bottom or sides. You want to end up with a pocket. Place the chicken breasts in the ovenproof dishes
- Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts, making sure it goes into the middle of the breast. Lay the bacon over the top of the chicken
- Bake the chicken for 20 minutes. Sprinkle over the cheese, then bake for 10 minutes more
- Serve with chips and green veg