Pesto chicken with watercress mash

Preparation: 10 mins    Cooking: 20 mins    Serves: 2


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 chicken breasts, skin on

  • 3 sprigs thyme

  • 2 cloves garlic, left unpeeled

  • 30 g unsalted butter

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 600g potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 85 watercress

  • 1 handful pine nuts, lightly toasted

  • 1 handful of parmesan, grated


Preheat the oven to 180C.  Put the potatoes on to boil in a pan of cold salted water.  Cook for around 20 minutes, or until soft enough to mash.  

While the potatoes cook heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Season the chicken breasts then add to the pan, skin-side down, and fry over a medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until browned all over.   Add the thyme and garlic cloves to the pan.

Transfer the chicken to the oven and roast for about 10 minutes. Set aside to rest in the pan while you make the pesto and finish off the mash.

Lightly toast pine nuts in a dry pan then add the chopped watercress, grated cheese and garlic to the food processor and pulse. With the motor running, add the olive oil a little at a time until the mixture is well combined. Set aside until ready to serve.

Add olive oil and butter to the mashed potatoes and stir well. Add chopped watercress and season with plenty of salt and black pepper.

Place the chicken breasts, watercress and mash onto plates, then pour over any remaining juices from the chicken pan. Finish with a serving of pesto.

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