Michelin Star Chef - Phil Howard's Chicken Recipe

Here's a cook-at-home recipe from Phil Howard, which he has given us permission to feature on The Directory Blog.

As Phil says about the lockdown "I was pretty daunted by the prospect of not being able to eat out for weeks on end but the truth is I have rediscovered the joys of home cooking and it has reminded me that you really can eat truly delicious food at home without any aggro."

Breast of Chicken with Smashed Hazelnut Pesto and Chargrilled Cavolo Nero
For 4 people

4 organic or free range chicken breasts, skin on
24 leaves of cavolo nero
100g peeled hazelnuts, roasted and crushed coarsely
35g parmesan, grated
70 ml vegetable oil
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Blanch the cavolo nero leaves in well salted water for 1 minute, drain into a colander and set aside to steam dry while you prepare the pesto and cook the chicken.

Combine the hazelnuts, parmesan and the oils. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. 

Place a heavy based pan over a high heat, leave for 2 minutes and add a splash of olive oil. Season the chicken breasts and place them in the pan skin side down. Cook until golden brown.

Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 160 degrees C for 10 or so minutes until cooked.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 6-7 minutes. Drizzle the cavolo nero leaves with a little olive oil and throw them onto a hot chargrill/griddle plate (or heavy based frying pan if all else fails!) and leave them to blacken on the first side. Season lightly, flip over and repeat on the second side. They should end up crisp and blackened on the edges.

Place 6 leaves onto each plate, top with a chicken breast, drizzle over any juices from the pan and then generously coat with the hazelnut pesto.

P.S. If you're lucky enough to have a bottle of truffle oil in the back of your cupboard you can add an extra layer of flavour to this already lovely dish with just a few drops.

Phil Howard is the owner of Elystan Street in Chelsea and is also a judge, for the second year in a row, of the World Chelsea Bun Awards. To visit Elystan Street click HERE and to visit the World Chelsea Bun Awards click HERE