A toastie for brunch? When it’s a chicken, bacon jam and cheddar toasted sandwich, it certainly gets our seal of approval.
TIME TAKEN 40 MINUTES
1 tsp peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, crushed
a few sprigs each of rosemary, thyme and parsley
2 bay leaves
1 carrot, roughly chopped
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
2 free-range or organic chicken breasts, skin on
4 slices sourdough bread
softened butter, for spreading
4 heaped tbsp bacon jam (see book)
150g mature cheddar cheese, grated plus 75g for a cheesy crust (optional)
1. In a small pan that will fit the chicken breasts snugly, add the peppercorns, garlic, herbs, bay leaves, carrot, spring onions and 500ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Gently add the chicken and bring back to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the chicken in the pan to continue cooking in the broth as it cools down.
3. Once cool, remove the chicken breasts – they should be cooked through but check by piercing with a knife – the juices should run clear. Refrigerate until needed.
4. Arrange your sourdough slices on a chopping board. Spread the outer side of each slice with butter. Take two slices and spread two tablespoons of bacon jam on the non-buttered side of each.
5. Cut both breasts into thin slices, cutting at an angle. Arrange the slices on top of the bacon jam, and cover with the grated cheddar. Place the other slices of bread on top, buttered side up, so you’ve got two sandwiches ready for toasting.
6. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over a medium heat. Place both sandwiches in the pan (if they fit, otherwise do one at a time), and cover with a lid. Cook for a few minutes until the underside of the sandwich is golden – check by lifting one with a spatula. Carefully turn the sandwiches over with the spatula. Cover again with the lid and cook for a few minutes until almost done.
7. For the cheesy crust (why would you not?), carefully lift each sandwich in turn with the spatula and sprinkle half of the extra Cheddar into the pan underneath. Try to cover the same area as the sandwich so you don’t waste the cheese. Gently lower the sandwiches back down on top of the cheese and cook for 1-2 minutes until you hear the sizzling of the cheese stop. Wait a few more seconds then remove the sandwiches from the pan. Slice in half and serve.
Now buy the book with £5 off
Brunch the Sunday Way by Alan Turner and Terence Williamson is published by Frances Lincoln, price £14.99. To order a copy for £9.99 until 26 July go to whsmith.co.uk and enter the code YOUBRUNCH at the checkout. Book number: 9780711248595. For terms and conditions, see whsmith.co.uk/terms.