Poached Chicken Breast in Parma Ham with a Ricotta and Basil Farce

These breast are full in flavour and tender from slow poaching. Wrapping the breast in cling film, "Glad Wrap" for the antipodean readers, protects the filling and parma from losing its taste.

4 Portions
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 18 - 20 minutes


Chicken Breast

  • 4 skinless chicken breast (small-medium)
  • 4 slices parma ham


  • 100g ricotta
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped basil
  • pinch nutmeg
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Filling:Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  2. Chicken Breast: Place the chicken breast on a work top so that the side which was cut from the bone is facing up. From the centre of the fillet make an incision lengthwise with a knife through the flesh so as to open it up being careful not to cut through. Repeat this on the other side, then flatten them out slightly with a mallet or rolling pin, carefully so as not to tear the skin.
  3. Spread a couple a generous tablespoon of the filling along the centre of each flattened breast and bring in the sides of the breast so as to seal the filling in.
  4. Place a slice of parma ham on a chopping board and in the centre put two sage leaves. Place the chicken breast skinned side down onto the centre of the parma ham and wrap the ham around the breast. Repeat this with the remaining chicken breast and wrap each on in cling film.
  5. To Cook: Place the chicken breast side by side in a saucepan and pour over boiling water. Cover the pan and bring the water to the boil. Reduce the heat and leave the breast to poach slowly for 10-12 minutes so that they are just cooked (firm to touch). Remove the breast from the pan draining away excess water and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
  6. To Serve: Unwrap the breasts from the cling film and serve. This dish is good accompanied by pasta and asparagus, also good with boiled new potatoes, spinach and rocket.