Loire chicken in Parma ham

Loire chicken in Parma ham

The best of French and Italian cuisine

The recipe for this delicious dish is brought to you by two highly respected British chefs who are based in the Pays de la Loire.
Their successful cookery school uses only the best ingredients, many of which are sourced from this bountiful region.

Breast of chicken wrapped in Parma ham on a bed of mashed butternut squash


Serves 2

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 butternut squash
  • 2 slices Parma ham
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh pesto
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • seasoning to taste


1. Chop the butternut squash into evenly-sized cubes and boil with the fresh thyme until soft.

2. Wrap each chicken breast with a slice of Parma ham, heat a small frying pan, add half the butter and a little oil and seal the chicken on both sides (fry quickly for about 30 seconds to a minute on each side, which seals the meat to stop it drying out). Transfer to a hot oven to finish cooking.

3. While the chicken is cooking, drain the cooked squash and mash it with the Parmesan cheese, the remaining butter, and seasoning to taste.

4. To serve, put half the mashed squash on each plate, carefully place the cooked chicken on top, and drizzle generously with fresh pesto.

For the Pesto

  • 125g fresh basil
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • seasoning to taste

Simply add all the ingredients to a small food processor and blitz.

Serving Suggestions

This dish is a lovely winter warmer and extremely easy and quick to prepare.
As a summer dish, the addition of a crisp green salad would be an ideal accompaniment.

Advanced preparation

The chicken breasts can be pre-wrapped. The pesto can be made up to a day or so in advance, and although the mash can be made in advance, it really is better made to order.

This recipe was prepared for you by the Walnut Grove, which offers gourmet cuisine and cooking classes in the beautiful Loire Valley.
The hosts and tutors for the course are Maynard Harvey and Benedict Haines.
They are both talented, professional chefs with a deep understanding of food.
Visit their website for further details

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