Mike Tomkins’ Hunter’s Chicken

Mike Tomkins’ Hunter’s Chicken

Hunter’s chicken is a wonderful thing. Juicy chicken, oozing with cheese, encased in salty bacon and glazed with tangy BBQ sauce. MasterChef finalist 2021 Mike Tomkins took this pub classic and elevated it with three cheeses for the filling, a luxurious, creamy mash and roasted Tenderstem.


The chicken needs to reach a final temperature of 74°C. Mike baked the chicken to 62°C, before removing from the oven to pan fry until it reached 68°C. He then left it to rest, where the temperature rose to 74°C. He used the Thermapen One to keep his temperatures in check.

2 servings
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 10 g mozzarella
  • 10 g gruyere
  • 10 g cheddar
  • 30 g salted butter
  • 30 ml whole milk
  • 40 ml double cream
  • 8-10 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • 300 g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled
  • 8 spears Tenderstem broccoli
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 20 g BBQ sauce
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pul biber
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Start by grating the three cheeses together and mixing them well in a bowl. Wrap the mixed cheeses in cling film, creating two 30g cylinders, and pop them in the freezer for an hour.
  • Butterfly the chicken breasts by placing them flat-side down on a chopping board and slice them horizontally down the breast. Be careful not to cut all the way through, the meat should almost look like a book.
  • Place the chicken breast between two pieces of cling film and use a rolling pin to flatten the meat until it’s around 1/2 cm thick.
  • Lay the streaky bacon out across a large piece of cling film, creating a square with the bacon all slightly overlapping.
  • Lay the chicken on top of the bacon and then add the cheese cylinders to the centre of the chicken. Using the cling film, tightly wrap the chicken into secure cylinders (these should look similar to a chicken Kiev.) Place them in the fridge for an hour to ensure they hold their shape when cooking.
  • Follow the instructions to make a concentrated chicken stock. Add this to a large pan of cold water, along with the baking powder. Next, chop the potatoes into equally-sized chunks and add these to the water. Bring the water steadily up to the boil and cook the potatoes till tender.
  • Whilst the potatoes are cooking, preheat your oven to 180°C. When it reaches temperature, add your chicken. It’s important to place your chicken straight onto the oven rack to allow the bacon to cook and crisp evenly. I’d place a drip tray underneath to catch any juices. The temperature you’re looking for on your Thermapen is 62°C as we’re going to pull the chicken out and finish it in a hot skillet to brown the bacon evenly all over.
  • Turn the oven up to 220°C. Toss the broccoli in pul biber, salt and olive oil before spreading across a tray and putting in the oven for around 10 minutes, until the heads begin to brown.
Plate up all of the elements and enjoy!
  • Finish the chicken in a skillet with a little olive oil, until the bacon is nicely browned all over and the temperature of the chicken reads 68°C on your Thermapen. Be careful when probing the chicken so as not to pierce the cheese cylinder. Brush the chicken liberally with bbq sauce, then leave to rest and the temperature will rise to 74°C.
  • Drain the potatoes and pass through a potato ricer and then a fine sieve, this will ensure the smoothest creamiest mash.
  • Heat the butter in a pan until browned, then add the milk and cream before combining with the potatoes a little at a time until you’re happy with the consistency – add the tsp of wholegrain mustard and season to finish.
Products to help you achieve perfection
"Thermapen is one of those kitchen tools I can't live without – it's something I use every single day from making sauces, to bbq cooking, to private dining and events, it comes with me everywhere! A Thermapen will improve you as a chef and a cook by taking the guess work out of complex cooking."
Mike Tomkins
Masterchef 2021 Runner Up
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