Home-made Hunter's Chicken
Hunter's Chicken is one of those pub favourites that I know I can always rely on. Almost every menu carries it by one name or another, and if there's nothing else I fancy then I'm pretty sure it will be there for me!
It's has a really decadent feel to it, so it must be really unhealthy, right? Obviously. I mean... barbecue sauce, with all that sugary goodness/badness?! Well you know I love a challenge, so I've fat-clubbed it! My first attempt used a Slimming World BBQ sauce recipe that I'd found on their website, but all I could taste was red wine vinegar. So I decided just to try chucking some things together, based on what I remembered from the very naughty OMG BBQ Pulled Pork recipe, and came up with this. I'm not gonna lie, I think I've outdone myself.
So here you have it. A Healthy version of Hunter's Chicken! Dig in!
2 Chicken Breasts
4 smoked turkey rashers
1 small onion, diced
2tsp garlic paste
200ml garlic & herb passata
2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2tbsp cider vinegar
1tbsp light soy sauce
2tbsp granulated sweetener
2tsp smoked paprika
1tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1tsp mustard powder
1tsp onion salt
1tbsp polenta or corn meal
2 good squirts of liquid smoke (optional)
60g half fat mature cheddar, grated
This should serve two, but as it's healthy why not pig out for one? I served it with peppers, mushrooms, and sweet potato fries from the actifry.
1. Put the oven on to preheat to 200ºc or 180ºc fan assisted, and chuck the chicken in for half an hour.
2. In a saucepan, gently fry the onions and garlic in some frylight for 5 minutes or so. Just to soften, not to colour.
3. After they've softened, add the passata, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, sweetener, paprika,mustard power, onion salt, cayenne pepper and liquid smoke (if using). Stir well and bring to the boil, before turning down to a low heat to simmer gently. Give it a good stir now and then, just to stop anything catching.
4. With about 10 minutes left until the chicken is done, slowly add the polenta in a thin steady stream, stirring constantly, to thicken the sauce up.
5. Dry fry the turkey rashers for a few minutes on each side.
6. Check the chicken is cooked through (it certainly should be). If so, plate up, with the turkey rashers on top, then some BBQ sauce, and finally the cheese. Finish it off under the grill for a few minutes if you want to melt the cheese and make it bubble!
7. Serve any remaining BBQ sauce on the side for dipping!
It's more or less as you were this week, with ASDA taking the top spot at £17.54, ahead of a resurgent Sainsbury's with £18.08.
Tesco managed a respectable third at £18.29, while Morrisons lost the plot at £21.34.
Well this is the healthy version, but it also packs a mighty taste-punch, too. The sauce is quite fiery, so feel free to leave out the Cayenne pepper for a milder, tangier, option. The liquid smoke is quite tricky to track down, too, so doesn't need to be used. I do enjoy that smokey taste, though, so always prefer to have it in there. Oh, and any passata will do, doesn't have to be the garlic & herb.
The Turkey rashers can of course be swapped for normal bacon, this is just my concession towards fat club. I can never be bothered trimming the fat from normal bacon. I will try it with bacon on a cheat day, though, some time.
I've opted to do the chicken in the oven just out of laziness. As a man (and I've said this before) I can't multi task, so prefer not to have too many things on the go all at once. I think this would be particularly tasty and succulent, though, if the chicken was butterflied and fried.
If you're tight for time, you could use shop-bought BBQ sauce, but where's the fun in that? I'm particularly proud of myself for chucking some ingredients together in a way that worked. I wasn't sure if I could do it without the naughty ingredients from the pulled pork recipe, but I'm pleased to say it worked out mighty fine! The sauce would've been too runny, so the polenta was a last-minute panic-addition to thicken it up. Cornflour could work just as well (though I'm always nervous about adding it to sauce, rather than the other way round!) and you could probably just leave it out if you don't mind a runnier sauce. Makes it trickier to get that look though, if it just runs right off the chicken, and pools around the plate like watery gravy!
This would be beautiful served atop some thick, creamy, mash! You know you want to!