6 parsnips peeled and halved
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 teaspoon picked, fresh thyme
1 tablespoon maple syrup
4 large or 6 medium chicken breasts (with skin)
1 tablespoon olive oil
100g sliced pancetta
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1–2 tablespoons gravy granules
You will also need a large, deep-sided roasting tin
Maple parsnips are one of my top 10 veggies, and they complement chicken, pancetta and a little thyme perfectly. I like to serve this with some green beans, which I chuck in the microwave and then serve drizzled with balsamic.
Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and parboil the parsnips for 5–10 minutes until they are just starting to soften. Drain, tip back in the pan and dust with the flour and thyme. Drizzle with the maple syrup and toss to coat.
Cut the chicken breasts in half, at an angle. Add the olive oil to the roasting tin and place over the hob to heat. Once the oil is hot, add the parsnips and chicken pieces and bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes until golden brown.
Add the sliced pancetta to the roasting tin and return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Transfer the chicken, pancetta and vegetables to a serving plate with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
Pour 500ml boiling water into the tin and place on the hob over a medium-high heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the sticky vegetable and meat juices from the bottom of the tin. Add the mustard and gravy granules and simmer until the gravy reaches your desired consistency. Serve poured over the chicken and parsnips.
‘Home Baking’ by Jo Wheatley is published by Constable in hardback and is available exclusively from Sainsbury’s at the introductory price of £8.
Photograph by Martin Poole