Hunter’s Chicken

I have to admit that “Hunter’s Chicken” was always something that passed me by on a restaurant or pub menu.

Part of this would have come from confusion over the name… I grew up in the 1980s when “Chicken Chasseur” was very much de rigueur, which meant that I would have expected a wine-based, mushroom and chicken stew rather than a chicken breast smothered in bacon, barbecue sauce and molten cheese. Chasseur, for those who don’t know, is the French for ‘hunter’.

Anyway, when I met the man who will soon be my husband I quickly discovered that Hunter’s Chicken was one of his “go to” menu items and I quickly learned the error of my ways… The one downside being that it’s a fairly simple dish and that means its quality can vary hugely. For every succulent chicken breast oozing with smokey, bacony, cheesy goodness there’s going to be a chef who’s happy to serve a dry old bit of meat hiding under a burnt crisp drowning in an acrid sauce.

I’m not saying I can always do better – especially as I have to be a bit more conscious with the quantities of cheese and bacon as part of the 8 Month Challenge – but I do like to have a go. This is my attempt at replicating something that could probably be marketed as Hunter’s Chicken with a few tweaks along the way.

As with many of my recipes this one is based on inspiration from multiple sources, so sorry for the lack of specific credit.

Hunter’s Chicken
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 45 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Bacon, Chicken, Poultry
Servings: 2
Ingredients
Barbecue Sauce
  • 2 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 0.5 tsp Sea Salt flakes
  • 0.5 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 0.5 tsp Smoked Paprika Pimenton
  • 330 ml can Coca-Cola
  • 150 ml Ketchup
  • 30 ml Cider or Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice
Main Dish
  • 2 Skinless & Boneless Chicken Breast about 150g each
  • 0.5 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 0.5 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 0.5 tsp Dried Mixed Herbs
  • 0.5 tsp Sea Salt
  • 4 Rashers Back Bacon excess fat removed
  • 100 g Extra Mature Cheddar
  • 4 Spring Onions
  • 8 tsp Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Instructions
Barbecue Sauce – Make in Advance
  1. Peel the garlic cloves then crush into a fine paste, adding the salt and pepper to assist with this process.
  2. Put all of the ingredients, except the lime juice, into a saucepan and mix well.
  3. Bring the mixture to the boil then reduce the heat – keep at a low simmer for around 45 minutes, until you have a thickened sauce. Stir regularly to avoid the sauce burning or catching on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Allow the sauce to cool before mixing through the lime juice as the final step. You should now have a smoky, sweet and slightly spicy sauce that’s good to go.0=[=09p`[
The Main Event
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C
  2. Put the chicken breasts into an ovenproof dish that’s deep enough to catch any sauce, cheese or juices as they cook. Cut a slit down the middle of each breast (don’t cut the whole way through, just make a pocket) then sprinkle over the salt, pepper, garlic powder and herbs before rubbing into the chicken.
  3. Add 1-2 tbsp barbecue sauce into the pocket you just created before wraping each chicken breast with two slices of bacon, tucking the ends underneath the breast where possible.
  4. Cover with foil then bake the chicken in the over for 20 minutes until it’s almost cooked but still nice and moist.
  5. Remove from the oven and spoon over the remaining barbecue sauce, before covering each breast with a generous amount of sliced cheese. You could grate the cheese if you wanted but slices will create more of a substantial coating over each breast.
  6. Return to the oven for another 8-10 minutes until the cheese has melted and started to go golden on the edges. Sprinkle with the sliced spring onions and serve.

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