Adults, when under severe emotional stress, turn to what could be called 'comfort food'—food associated with the security of childhood, like mother's chicken soup." So declared the then ‘Palm Beach Post’ back in 1966 launching the term ‘comfort food’ into our vocabulary

Nothing changes. We’re all still nostalgic about food we enjoyed when we were young, food associated with security, love and happiness.

How’s this for comfort, fried, crispy chicken breasts stuffed with tasty, smoky ham, oozing with lashings of stringy cheese. What a treat.

Yes, I know, it breaks all the food rules and the food police will be out to get me, but eating this as a hot sandwich sitting in front of the telly on a winter night is a great comfort to me and any big kid I’m feeding!


4 free range chicken breasts

8 thin slices boiled ham

8 thin slices tasty melting cheese like gruyere or emmenthal

8 fresh sage leaves

2 free range eggs

4-6 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs

Sea salt and black pepper

Olive oil and a good blob of butter

1 unwaxed lemon

Lay the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of greaseproof paper.

Use a rolling pin to bash them to flatten them out and tenderise them.

Use a sharp knife to slit the chicken in half, making a pocket for stuffing.

Season the chicken well inside and out.

Pull the pieces apart and stuff with two slices each of ham and cheese.

Tuck in a couple of fresh sage leaves for extra flavour.

Pin the chicken together with a few toothpicks.

Season the top of the chicken.

Break the eggs into a shallow dish and season well.

Put the breadcrumbs in another dish.

Dip each of the stuffed chicken pieces in the egg coating each side well.

Lay in the breadcrumbs, pressing them down to coat well on both sides.

You can set these aside in the fridge for a few hours.

When ready to cook, remove from the fridge and Pre-heat oven Gas4 / 180 C.

Cover the bottom of a wide frying pan with olive oil.

Warm it through and add the blob of butter.

On a brisk heat, fry the chicken pieces on each side until lightly browned and starting to crisp.

Drain well in kitchen paper and lay on a baking tray.

Bake in the heated oven for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is well cooked (check no pink when you slice a bit open).

Drain again on kitchen paper and squeeze some lemon juice over to serve.

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