Sumak and Thyme Chicken

You can make this more or less pricey by choosing to use chicken thighs instead of breasts, and streaky bacon instead of parma ham, or leaving the saffron out of the sauce. It’s entirely up to you.

  • 2 chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 1 tbsp sumak
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 slices of parma ham
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • Pinch of saffron

Make a couple of slashes in the chicken breasts to help them absorb the marinade. Mix together the sumak, thyme, garlic, and olive oil in a bowl big enough to hold the chicken breasts. Roll the chicken breasts in the marinade so that they get a good coating. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and put it into the fridge. Leave the chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours (I put mine in early in the morning of the day I want to cook it, so it gets around 10 hours, but it depends what works for your daily schedule).

Heat your oven to Gas 5. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and wrap them in the slices of parma ham. Put the wrapped breasts in a roasting tin and place in the centre of the oven. Cook for about 30 to 40 mins, according to your taste and the size of the breasts. Test by pushing a skewer into the fattest part of the breasts – if the juices run clear the chicken is cooked.

While the chicken is cooking, reduce the chicken stock in a saucepan so that it thickens to a coating texture. If you’re using the saffron, dunk the strands into a very small amount of water then tip this mixture into the reduced stock.

This is good with just some plain broccoli.