Food Glorious Food Recipe: Hannah Thomas' Somerset Chicken

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Cider, cheddar cheese and fresh veggies make this a hearty South West treat...

Somerset Chicken from Food Glorious Food
To celebrate ITV's brand new cooking competition show Food Glorious Food we're bringing you some key recipes from the series.

Tonight the judging panel will be in the South West trying to find the nation's best home cooked recipe for a slot on the shelves of Marks & Spencer. In the episode contestant Hannah Thomas will be creating this hearty chicken dish and you can see the recipe below...

Somerset chicken by Hannah Thomas

Hannah Thomas has been cooking this tasty dish with veg freshly picked from her dad's allotment since she was a teenager, and it always brings back memories of growing up in the countryside. It is her mum's special recipe, which combines two fantastic local products: scrumpy cider and Cheddar cheese.

Serves: 4


1 Bramley apple, peeled, cored and sliced salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless chicken breasts
400ml (14fl oz) medium-dry scrumpy cider
2 medium red onions, cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 or 3 sprigs of rosemary
75g (3oz) breadcrumbs
25g (1oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme
75g (3oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.


Place the apple slices in 4 rows inside a baking dish (I use an oval dish measuring 35 x 24 x 6cm/14 x 9. x

Season the chicken breasts and rub it in well. Place atop the apple rows, folding in any elongated ends to ensure the breasts are plumped up and all the same size. Pour three-quarters of the cider over and around chicken and allow to marinate for 10 minutes.

Add the onions and garlic to the dish along with the rosemary sprigs and remaining cider (it should come about halfway up the chicken now). Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Meanwhile, blitz the breadcrumbs in a blender or food processor.

Add the Parmesan, thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper, then tip on to a plate.

Carefully make a lengthways incision in the side of each of the cooked chicken breasts to create a pocket. Sprinkle the cheddar inside and on top of each breast, cover generously with the breadcrumbs and pat down.

Drizzle with the olive oil and return to the oven for another 20 minutes, until the topping is crisp. If this fails to happen, transfer the chicken to a shallow baking tin and grill for a few minutes to crisp up.

Serve the chicken with herby roasted new potatoes or crunchy skinned jacket potatoes, plus some greens – preferably green
beans and broad beans cooked with pancetta and garlic.

Food Glorious Food recipe book

Food Glorious Food is on ITV tonight at 8pm.

Buy the Food Glorious Food cookbook here.

What do you think? Leave a comment below to be in with a chance of winning a £100 goodie bag.
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