This is one of those recipes that looks much harder than it actually is, thanks to a bit of pastry wizardry. These are great to keep in stock in the freezer, so I usually double the quantity and make eight lattices at once – it only takes a moment to make the extra ones as all the ingredients are already laid out.
PREP 20 MINUTES
COOK 35 MINUTES
1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 slices ham
4 x 1cm-thick slices cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten, to glaze
1. Unroll the pastry sheet and cut into quarters to make four roughly square pieces. If they aren’t quite square, trim the longer sides to even up the pieces.
2. Using a lattice cutter or a sharp knife, make 2cm slits in staggered rows 1cm apart. Gently pull the pastry apart so that the lattice shape opens up.
3. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and place the chicken breasts on it, evenly spaced. Top each one with a slice of ham, then a slice of cheese and finally a piece of the latticed pastry, opening it up so that the top and sides of each chicken breast are enclosed.
TO COOK Brush the top of each pastry lattice with the egg, then transfer to a preheated oven at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 30-35 minutes, until golden, juicy and tender. Serve hot with vegetables of your choice.
TO FREEZE Transfer the uncooked lattices to a labelled freezer bag and freeze flat for up to three months.
TO COOK FROM FROZEN Remove the lattices from the freezer and allow to defrost completely, then brush with beaten egg and cook as described left.
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