Parma Chicken & Vegetable Bake

Friday 9 March 2018

Parma Chicken & Vegetable Bake.  This recipe for a chicken and vegetable bake is destined to become a tried and true recipe favourite! 

We eat a lot of chicken in this house. That's because it is fairly inexpensive . . . and, in all truth, we like it.  

We don't eat a lot of red meat actually, or processed meats . . . mostly just fish and  chicken (not together), and if it's chicken . . . it's usually chicken breasts.  

That can get old pretty quickly, unless you are prepared and armed with a lot of different ideas on how to prepare it.

These days I tend to use free range organic, corn fed chicken.  I can do this because there are only two of us. If I had a larger family I might have to reconsider my choice.  

I like the flavour of the free-range organic corn-fed chicken. To me, it does taste better than regular chicken. Ordinary chicken has had the flavour bred right out of it in my opinion.

I think I could write a cook book based just cooking chicken breasts.  They are like a beautiful canvas just waiting to be painted on.  You can do soooo very much with them.  They easily adapts to most other flavors, and . . . as long as you don't over-cook them . . .  they are really quite delicious.  Over-cooked chicken breasts are about as palatable as eating an old boot . . . and probably just as tasty.

I think people are afraid of getting salmonella,  and so they cook them to death.  The only thing you need to be concerned with when cooking chicken,  is that the juices run clear . . . as long as the juices run clear . . . your chicken is cooked.  

Thighs and legs . . . they take to longer cooking times, and in fact the longer you cook them, the more succulent they are.  Breasts however . . . you want to cook them at a high temperature and fairly quickly.  

Long and slow cooking just isn't well suited to chicken breast meat . . . it dries it out and makes it tough.

Today I wrapped them in some thinly sliced proscuitto. I then baked them in a hot oven with some potato wedges, celery and leeks . . . a splash of white wine, some cream . . . and lovely fresh herbs.  

The proscuitto protected the chicken breast meat, and kept it from over browning on the outside before they were cooked on the inside . . . keeping them moist and succulent. 

Parma Chicken & Vegetable Bake

The potatoes got a nice brown crust, almost like roasted potatoes. And the leeks and celery almost melted into the cream and wine, creating a luscious and flavorful sauce . . . especially with the added touch of thyme and marjoram.  

Just look at that moist chicken . . . and those deliciously tender vegetables . . . why . . . they look almost good enough to eat!

*Parma Chicken and Vegetable Bake*
Serves 4

A delicious all in one pan recipe that will have them coming back for more.  I often double this. 

2 TBS olive oil
6 large baking potatoes
1 large leek, washed, trimmed, and most of the tough dark green leaves discarded
3 celery stalks, washed and trimmed
4 large free range boneless, skinless chicken breasts
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 to 8 thin slices of Proscuitto ham
a few sprigs each of fresh thyme and marjoram
a splash of white wine
240ml of double cream (1 cup, whipping cream) 

Parma Chicken & Vegetable Bake

Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7.  Pour the olive oil into a large baking dish or roasting pan.  Set aside.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into large wedges.  Place them into a pot of lightly salted boiling water.  Bring the water back to the boil and then boil them for about 3 minutes, no longer.  While the potatoes are cooking bang the pan with the olive oil into the oven.  Drain the potatoes  well.  Tip them into the hot oil in the baking dish and shake them to coat them with the oil.  Put the pan in the oven while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Carefully slit, clean and rinse the leek.  Cut it into slices.  Do the same to the celery.  Season each chicken breast with some salt and black pepper and wrap each piece with some of the proscuitto.  Remove the potatoes from the oven.  Tip in the celery and leek, give it all a good stir.   Season the vegetables lightly with some salt and black pepper.  Sprinkle the sprigs of herbs over all. Tuck the chicken breasts in amongst the vegetables.   Pour in a splash of white wine.  You will only need about half a cup or so.  Pour the cream around the chicken in the dish.

Bake for 30 to 35  minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are meltingly tender.

Serve with some crusty bread and mashed swede on the side.

This tastes almost like a chicken and ham pot pie . . . except without the crust.  Aside from the cream, it was also fairy healthy . . .  and quite colorful too. A most delicious way to get in some of your five a day!  I also loved that I was able to cook it all in one dish, which saved on the washing up.  Delicious, easy peasy, and only one cooking dish to clean.  You can't lose! Bon appetit! 

Parma Chicken & Vegetable Bake 

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  1. You nailed the good and bad about chicken breasts. It can't be cooked slow, and doesn't absorb flavors as in soups and casseroles like darker meat.

    This is one outstanding recipe! I am so excited to try it, and taste all of those great flavors. Thanks as always!


    1. Thanks Jane! I really hope you enjoy it! I think its really good, but I am a bit biased! lol xo

  2. Oh yum..looks perfectamundo Marie!

    1. It is pretty heavenly Monique! Thank you! xo

  3. I think I print all of your chicken recipes. This sounds delish. I don't have breasts in the house but I do have the tenders and the proscuitto so this might be Sunday's dinner. Looks SO good!

    1. I think they would work wonderfully Jeanie. I remove the tendon when I use chicken tenders. A sharp knife does the trick beautiful. They can be tough with it left in. Oh you and your family are in for such a treat! xo


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