Pan-seared poached chicken and broccoli with butter and cheese sauce


This is a bit like poaching fish in a foil parcel, but using chicken (which needs to be sealed first). Devised when I was bored recently, and with my attention deficit, child-bearing, adopted kid sister in mind. It’s an easy, quick new signature dish of mine (tested and approved by others).

Seared poached chicken

Costs £1.50, takes 50 minutes (15 prep, 35 to cook, and you can do the dishes for this as you go). Serves one (adjust all figures accordingly):

Use these: Chicken breast fillet (skinless), purple sprouting stem broccoli, cooking oil, butter, salt, pepper, tin foil.

Do this: Heat a teaspoon of vegetable / sunflower oil (about the size of a 10p) and a credit card-sized slice of butter, in a pan over a medium / high heat. Fry the chicken for about 5 minutes either side (don’t move them around too much, and turn the heat down to medium when you turn it). At the same time, fry 3 or 4 broccoli stems, shaking the pan to coat them with butter. You’ll end up with chicken which is sealed and browned on the outside, and broccoli which is charred: This is what you want.

Get a sheet of tin foil, about A4 size and lay it shiny side down. Put a little oil and butter on the foil, then season the foil with salt and pepper (for the underside of the chicken). Put the chicken and the broccoli on the foil (with the excess juices from the pan if you like), season on top and close it loosely around (like a purse, or a pasty), leaving a small gap at the end for excess steam to escape.

Put the parcel on / in a baking tray / dish in a pre-heated oven (190c) and cook for 35 minutes.

For the cheese sauce, use shop-bought stuff: Plonk some chunks of strong Cheddar in, for more cheesiness and heat it in the microwave. Take the chicken etc. out of the oven and let it rest in the foil for a couple of minutes.

Serve the chicken and broccoli (drizzle some juice from the foil over if you want), with the cheese sauce on top, then grind a bit of black pepper over it. People would pay a tenner for that in a gastro pub 🙂