This dish is the perfect combination of crispy breaded chicken, tender pasta, and a flavourful pesto made from wild garlic, a seasonal delicacy.

The crispy, golden breadcrumbs provide a satisfying crunch to the tender chicken, while the broad, ribbon-like pappardelle pasta offers a substantial foundation for the dish. And then there's the wild garlic pesto, a verdant and pungent sauce that takes this meal to the next level.

Serves 2 



  • Start by making the pesto. This will keep in the fridge for several weeks. 

    Place the hazelnuts in a small pan and set over medium heat. Toast for 3–4 minutes, shaking the pan every so often so the nuts toast evenly. 

    Place the wild garlic leaves in the bowl of a food processor and pulse briefly to break down the leaves. You’ll probably need to stop the machine so you can remove the lid and encourage the leaves down towards the blade. 

    Once the leaves are coarsely chopped, add the toasted hazelnuts and pulse again. Now add the cheese and the olive oil and pulse again until you reach the desired texture. Season the pesto generously with salt and pepper to taste and adjust the consistency with more olive oil as you like. 

    Use a rubber spatula to scrape the pesto out into a large jar. Tap the jar on the work surface to help settle the pesto, then trickle over a thin layer of olive oil to seal. Fasten the lid and store it in the fridge, where it will keep for several weeks. 

    To prepare the chicken. Slice each breast in half as evenly as you can across its face, giving you four much thinner, similar-sized pieces. You can tap them out using a rolling pin to get them nice and thin. Season them with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the leaves from the thyme. Toss them in the flour, dip them in the egg and finally cover them liberally with the breadcrumbs. 

    Heat a large, heavy frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the light oil and, when hot, add the breaded chicken and the thyme sprigs. Fry for 6–8 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is cooked through and the crumb is crisp and golden. 

    Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted water until done to your liking. Drain, then return the pasta to the pan. Add a generous spoon or three of pesto and a little more seasoning and stir everything through carefully. Divide the pasta between two warm plates, sprinkle with a little cheese and serve on the plate alongside equal portions of the fried chicken. 

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