Creamy one-pan chicken with charred lemon and crispy prosciutto

Katrina Meynink gives creamy chicken casserole a makeover.
Katrina Meynink gives creamy chicken casserole a makeover. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Dietary
Gluten-free

If there is one thing I walked away from French culinary school with, it was some know-how about making a sauce with all the brown gnarly bits in the pan, the base of flavour in this easy one-pot wonder. Combined with crisp chicken skin and lovely charred bits of lemon, this is one for the regular rotation.

Ingredients

4 chicken marylands

8 shallots, peeled

½ lemon, sliced into rounds

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, crushed

¾ cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock

200g creme fraiche

4-6 slices prosciutto* (optional; check gluten-free if required)

1 cup spinach leaves

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170C fan forced (190C conventional).

2. Place a large ovenproof frypan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and once a sheen appears, add the chicken skin-side-down. Cook for five minutes then add the shallots and lemon slices in a single layer. Place a dinner plate over the top (this helps with even cooking, see tip) and cook for another 15 minutes or until the skin is caramelised and crisp.

3. Using tongs, gently turn the chicken over so it is now skin-side-up and remove the lemon pieces (set them aside for later). Push the chicken to the side a little and scrape up any of the gnarly brown caramelised bits before adding the mustard, garlic, white wine and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Turn off the heat then stir through the creme fraiche. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through.

4. While the chicken is cooking transfer the prosciutto slices, if using, to a lined baking tray and pop in the oven and cook until crisp, about 5-8 minutes. If your prosciutto isn't overly fatty, you may like to drizzle it with a little olive oil to help it crisp.

5. Top the chicken with the reserved lemon slices for the last minute of cooking, just to warm through. Remove the pan from the oven and push the spinach leaves into the sauce – the residual heat will soften them. Top with crisp pieces of prosciutto, if using, and serve.

Tip: The key is cooking the chicken skin-side-down for a very decent amount of time. I throw them in a pan, place a plate on top and let them while away so the fat renders and browns properly; this is often a step that is skipped over, don't do that here.

*other cured meats such as pancetta, bacon etc. work quite well here.