RECIPE: Parmesan Chicken Breasts With Crispy Posh Ham

Chef Jamie Oliver cooked this dish for "Nightline" correspondent Nick Watt while Watt was interviewing Oliver for a broadcast profile about the celebrity chef. The verdict? Watt said it was "delicious. Fresh, flavorful and ready in five minutes flat."


Recipe courtesy of Jamie Oliver

Serves 2

This is a great way to prepare chicken breasts. The texture of the crisp cooked prosciutto goes brilliantly with the tender chicken. Bashing the chicken out thinly before you start cooking means it cooks much faster than a regular chicken breast. If you can't get hold of prosciutto, then any kind of very thin ham, such as pancetta, Parma ham or even smoked streaky bacon will work just as well.

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30g Parmesan cheese
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 skinless chicken breasts, preferably free-range or organic
freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon
6 slices of prosciutto
olive oil

To prepare your chicken:

Grate your Parmesan
Pick the thyme leaves off the stalks
Carefully score the underside of the chicken breasts in a criss-cross fashion with a small knife
Season with a little pepper (you don't need salt as the prosciutto is quite salty)
Lay the breasts next to each other and sprinkle over most of the thyme leaves
Grate a little lemon zest over them, then sprinkle with the Parmesan
Lay 3 prosciutto slices on each chicken breast, overlapping them slightly
Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining thyme leaves
Put a square of clingfilm over each breast and give them a few really good bashes with the bottom of a pan until they're about 1cm thick

To cook your chicken:

Put a frying pan over a medium heat
Remove the clingfilm and carefully transfer the chicken breasts, prosciutto side down, into the pan
Drizzle over some olive oil
Cook for 3 minutes on each side, turning halfway through, giving the ham side an extra 30 seconds to crisp up

To serve your chicken:

Either serve the chicken breasts whole or cut them into thick slices and pile them on a plate
Serve with some lemon wedges for squeezing over, and a good drizzle of olive oil
Lovely with mashed potatoes and green veggies or a crunchy salad!