Making Hunter’s Chicken is, I’m convinced, the best decision I’ve made all year.
It’s the meal I always, always opt for at the pub, even though I have it every time and fancy a change, even though they also serve a selection of probably much finer meals. In its horrible, fatty, cheesy, bacony, barbecuey goodness, it always hits a spot.
Never made it myself, though, until tonight.
So I did. And it is, of course, dead easy. Chicken breast, wrapped in bacon, baked for 20 minutes, topped with cheese, baked for another ten, served, heated barbecue sauce poured over the top. But the crucial thing about making it at home is that you can regulate the sauce volume.
Here’s the rule: Hunter’s Chicken absolutely must be swimming in barbecue sauce.
Pubs rarely get it right. Two, ever, have done. Those two were the Tom Cobleigh’s pub in Kirkstall (now some godawful chain pub, and yes, I’m aware Tom Cobleigh’s is a chain pub too), and Dick Hudson’s in… somewhere outside Leeds. They got it absolutely right. Swimming in the stuff. Everywhere else seems to think a fine coating of sauce over the top will do, but it really will not.
So tonight, I made Hunter’s Chicken with half a bottle of barbecue sauce.
Which, okay, isn’t very economical.
But goodness me, do I feel satisfied by that meal.