This recipe is a celebration of contrasts. The creamy mash is flavoured with sweet caramelised onion and sharp, salty cheese. Its pillowy softness is the perfect counterpart to juicy chicken in a crispy coating of herbed breadcrumbs. Comfort food of the highest order but with a side of garlicky green beans to keep things light.
Flat Leaf Parsley
Olive Oil for the dressing
Preheat your oven to 200°C and put a large saucepan of water on to boil with 0.5 tsp of salt. Chop the potatoes into 2cm chunks (no need to peel!). Halve, peel and thinly slice the red onion. Trim the green beans. Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Pop the potato into the boiling water and simmer for 15-20 mins. Tip: The potato is cooked when you can easily slip a knife through.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the parsley (stalks and all). Put half the parsley in a small bowl and mix in the panko breadcrumbs, Provençal herbs, olive oil (see ingredients for amount) and season with salt. Pop the chicken breasts on a baking tray and season with salt and black pepper. Using the back of a spoon, spread the mayo over the top half of each breast and then sprinkle over the crumb mixture.
Roast the chicken on the top shelf of your oven until cooked through and golden on top, 25-30 mins. IMPORTANT: The chicken is cooked when no longer pink in the middle. Meanwhile, heat a splash of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook until soft, 7-10 mins, stirring occasionally, then remove from the pan and keep to one side. Don't wash the pan - we'll use it later to cook the green beans.
Once the potatoes are cooked, drain in a colander and return to the pan off the heat. Add a knob of butter and a splash of milk (if you have any) and mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cooked onion. Cover with a lid to keep warm.
Heat a splash of oil in your (now empty) frying pan on high heat. Add the bacon lardons and stir fry until golden and crispy, 3-5 mins. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon and pop your frying pan back on medium high heat. Add the green beans and stir-fry for 2 mins. Add the garlic and season with salt. Add the water (see ingredients for amount). Pop a lid on the pan (or cover with foil) and steam until just tender, 3-5 mins. Drain any leftover water, then stir through the balsamic vinegar and olive oil (see ingredients for amount). Add the bacon back into the pan and mix to combine with the beans.
Reheat the onion mash if necessary and spoon a generous amount onto your plate. Top it with the chicken and place some garlicky bacon beans alongside. Drizzle the balsamic dressing from the beans around the plate and finish with a sprinkling of the remaining parsley. Enjoy!