Watercress-stuffed Chicken Breast with Saffron and Shallot Cream Sauce

Peppery watercress and salty Parmesan makes a great stuffing for juicy chicken, which Claire Macdonald serves with a fragrant saffron-scented sauce
By Claire Macdonald
Watercress-stuffed Chicken Breast with Saffron and Shallot Cream Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the chicken

  • 120 g watercress
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 50 g parmesan, grated
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp strands saffron
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • 150 ml double cream
  • salt and black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. Put the watercress, garlic, Parmesan and nutmeg into a food processor and add half of the lemon juice. Whiz to a paste.

3. Lay the chicken breasts on a board and flatten them as much as you can. Spread the watercress mixture thinly over each, and roll or fold in half and stick a wooden toothpick through each, or tie with kitchen string.

4. Put the chicken breasts into an ovenproof dish and pour the rest of the lemon juice over them.

5. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes.

6. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion for 4-5 minutes, until soft and golden.

7. Soak the saffron in the stock and then pour it onto the onions. Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until reduced by half.

8. Pour in the cream and bubble the sauce for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

9. Remove the toothpicks or string from the cooked chicken and slice. Arrange the slices on warmed plates, pour over the sauce and serve with Jersey Royal potatoes and sugar snap peas.

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