STREAMING NOW: Simply Nigella

Duchess Blavatski's Chicken Lunch

sparkle sparkle

Want more from Genius Kitchen?

Watch on your Apple TV, Roku, or Fire TV and your iOS, Fire, or Android device.

Learn More
“Created for RSC #13. The Duchess is very old, very elegant, ex-Russian nobility, and a gourmet. She came to lunch and I made this, as it can stay in a warming oven for a while. This meant I could give my full attention to the old battle-axe and have a glass of wine with her. It's quick to make, this lunch plate, and the Duchess actually thought it was okay! Cooking time assumes you'll fry the chicken while the pastry squares are in the oven. Done separately, that will take about 40 minutes.”
1hr 20mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Prepare the bits first. Prepare/cook the spinach according to directions, then leave to drain VERY well in a sieve. Open the cans of artichokes, and let drain upside down.
  2. Peel the foil off the cheese wedges, and mash the cheese roughly with the Tabasco and a pinch of sea salt.
  3. Heat oven to 350 deg F or 180 deg Celsius.
  4. Open up the dough, pinch together, and cut 4 squares, each about 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches (about 11cm x 11cm). Grease an oven tin lightly, brush each square with beaten egg, and bake until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. Do watch it, as it could be done in less time depending on the dough and your oven! This can be done even the day ahead, just keep them airtight at room temp.).
  5. Sprinkle the flour thickly on a working surface and over the chicken breasts, then beat them with a mallet until quite thin, being careful not to let them break up. (Use any utensil like the bottom of a bottle, to flatten the breasts). Keep flattened breasts at hand, covered with a towel.
  6. I did everything more or less at the same time, and I fried the breasts while the pastry was baking. Use fairly high heat, and heat oil to hot before adding the breasts. Fry until light brown on both sides, and remove to a dish. (Don't overcook). That worked beautifully, as both the pastry and breasts were done within 15 - 20 minutes.
  7. Slice a thin bit off the artichoke bottoms so they'll stand up. With a knife point, remove the soft inner heart very carefully, so you have a small hollow within the outside leaves. Stand in a flat dish for ease.
  8. Mix the spinach, cream, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Using a small teaspoon, fill the 8 hollows of the artichokes (you'll have a little filling left over, depending on size of artichokes).
  9. Wrap a strip of ham round each artichoke. Parma or Black Forest easily sticks and won't fall off.
  10. Put a pastry square on 4 plates. Spread the cheese mash over the chicken breasts, and put 1 breast on each of the pastry squares. Top each breast with two of the filled, wrapped artichokes.
  11. At this stage the prepared plates can wait a while and cool down.
  12. To serve, simply heat in a warm oven (180 deg F or about 90 deg C) for about 40 mins or until warm. They don't need a covering and will not spoil, and the dish need not be piping hot.
  13. To serve, garnish with your choice from the list given. Good with chilled dry white wine.

Watch more

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a