This easy recipe will show you how to make the British pub classic, hunters chicken. Not only is this dish a 2 step recipe, but it is also relatively cheap to make, more importantly, the meat is tender and deliciously tasty! The chicken breast is wrapped with bacon and then baked until tender before being topped with cheese and smothered in BBQ sauce, what's not to like about that? let's make it
What is hunters chicken
Hunters chicken is a British pub classic that is made with chicken breasts wrapped in bacon, it is then topped with melty cheese and BBQ sauce. It is a dish that is relatively easy to make and is also budget-friendly.
One of the reasons I love making hunters' chicken as a weeknight dinner is because of how easy it is and you can literally make it all in one pan or slow cooker. With a handful of ingredients and minimal prep, you can have this comforting dinner on the table in 30 minutes. Hunters chicken can be made with homemade BBQ sauce but let's call today's recipe a cheat as I am using store-bought BBQ sauce. Using the best quality BBQ sauce you can find and the one you are comfortable with is important for this recipe. Check the ingredients label to make sure it is not just packed with sugar. A good one should be flavourful, sweet, and tangy.
Hunters chicken is UK classic dish and it is similar to the US chicken new yorker recipe or chicken cacciatore in Italy. I call it a hybrid of bacon-wrapped chicken and BBQ chicken and you can even say it is the opposite of this baked pesto chicken recipe.
You will need the following ingredients to make this dish
Boneless skinless chicken breasts
Streaky bacon: you can use smoked or unsmoked, I prefer using smoked bacon for added flavor
BBQ sauce: this can be homemade or storebought
Cheese: I used a combination of strong cheddar cheese (for flavor) and mozzarella cheese(for that beautiful stretch, the kids love it) for a good balance of flavor. You can use any cheese of choice from gruyère to stilton or whatever (melty) cheese you can lay your hands on.
Spices: I seasoned the chicken with onion and garlic granules. I believe it is a sacrilege to cook chicken breast without seasoning it first.
Salt and black pepper: I used the minimal salt as possible as the other ingredients already contain salt, please feel free to omit salt if you prefer.
How to make Hunters chicken
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C, and spray an oven-safe dish with some cooking oil.
Remove any fats or tendons from the chicken and pat them dry with a kitchen paper towel.
Season both sides of the chicken with salt, black pepper garlic, and onion granules.
Wrap each chicken breast with 3 bacon and arrange it in the prepared oven dish in a single layer (it is ok if they are touching)
Place the oven dish in the oven and cook the chicken until it is cooked and registers at least 160F/70C when checked with a meat thermometer.
Carefully remove the baking from the oven, and spoon the BBQ sauce over the chicken making sure you are covering at least 90% of the chicken. Finally, top each chicken with shredded cheese.
Return the dish into the oven and continue to bake for another 5-8 minutes or until the inner temperature of the chicken registers at 165F/74C and the cheese is melted and bubbling.
Remove from the oven and rest for about 5 minutes and serve with some oven chips, potato wedges, steamed veg, or a simple salad. Enjoy!
What to serve with this dish
This dish can be served with a variety of sides, some of my favorites include
How to store
This dish is best served and enjoyed immediately. However, if you have leftovers, store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place the chicken in an oven-safe dish and heat it a 350F/180C until warmed through or in an air fryer. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave but I find it dries out the chicken.
Easy Hunters Chicken Recipe
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 12 Streaky bacon: you can use smoked or unsmoked I prefer using smoked bacon for added flavor
- 1½ cups BBQ sauce: this can be homemade or storebought
- ½ cup cheddar cheese
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon onion granules
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules
- Salt and black pepper
- Cooking oil spray
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C, and spray an oven-safe dish with some cooking oil.
- Remove any fats or tendons from the chicken and pat them dry with a kitchen paper towel.
- Season both sides of the chicken with salt, black pepper garlic, and onion granules.
- Wrap each chicken breast with 3 bacon and arrange it in the prepared oven dish in a single layer (it is ok if they are touching)
- Place the oven dish in the oven and cook the chicken until it is cooked and registers at least 160F/70C when checked with a meat thermometer.
- Carefully remove the baking from the oven, and spoon the BBQ sauce over the chicken making sure you are covering at least 90% of the chicken. Finally, top each chicken with shredded cheese.
- Return the dish into the oven and continue to bake for another 5-8 minutes or until the inner temperature of the chicken registers at 165F/74C and the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and rest for about 5 minutes and serve with some oven chips, potato wedges, steamed veg, or a simple salad. Enjoy!
- Season the chicken with any seasoning of choice but avoid adding too much as the rest of the ingredients already contain salt
- Use 2 bacon instead of 3
- Adjust the BBQ sauce and cheese to suit your dietary needs.
Nutritional data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients and brands you use. Under no circumstances will thedinnerbite.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.
how long to cook hunters chicken
This will depend on the size of your chicken and the temperature it is cooked. It is important to use a similar-sized chicken breast so that they cook evenly. Avoid a very large-sized whole breast as it will take longer to cook which may dry up the meat and the bacon will be overcooked as well.
I would suggest cooking the chicken at 400C/200C for about 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165F/74C when checked with a meat thermometer.
Can I make this in the air fryer
Yes, you can and it is very easy to do as well, however, it is important to line the air fryer basket with aluminum foil so that it can hold all the delicious sauce and cheese. Follow my air fryer chicken breast as a guide.
Is this recipe healthy
This recipe is relatively healthy as it is baked in the oven and not fried. However, it does contain cheese and bacon which are not considered to be healthy foods. You can easily swap out the cheese for a lighter version and use less of what is specified in this recipe. The same goes for the bacon, reduce the amount used or you can use turkey bacon or even leave it out.
More chicken breast dinner recipes you will love
Dutch oven chicken breast and tomatoes
So there you have it, an easy and delicious classic British chicken recipe that the whole family will love. As always, if you made this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Kindly rate the recipe 5 star and leave me feedback in the comment section below. Tag me @thedinnerbite on Instagram and save it away to your Pinterest. Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t for free new recipes in your inbox