Easy Hunter's Chicken (also known as Chicken New Yorker) is a delicious comforting dish made up of a chicken breast loaded with homemade BBQ sauce, bacon and cheese. A British twist on the French dish of the same name, these juicy and tender chicken breasts are a family favourite that are easy to add plenty of vegetables to.
We always have chicken breasts in the fridge, but can get bored of curry or slow cooker casseroles. So this is a great way to use them, that the whole family loves. Ready in just 30 minutes (if you already have BBQ sauce), it is full of flavour and there are loads of different options when it comes to how to serve it.
What you will need
- Shallots and garlic - This is the base of the sauce. You could use frozen garlic to save time, and swap the shallots for frozen onion too.
- Chicken breasts - We used boneless and skinless chicken breasts. We wouldn't recommend using chicken thighs for this.
- BBQ sauce - We made our own homemade BBQ sauce, however you can use a really good quality store bought one instead. Try to go for something chunky, as the added texture is nice.
- Passata - We mixed this with the BBQ sauce to add more of a sauce. You could use just BBQ sauce, but we like to do half and half so it isn't as an intense flavour and it makes it lower in sugar too.
- Bacon - We like smoked bacon for extra flavour. You can make it lower in fat by trimming some of the extra fat off it or using turkey bacon instead. You could even swap the bacon for slices of ham if you wanted, but it wouldn't have the same flavour.
- Cheese - We used a mature cheese for this, as it has such a strong flavour that you can get away with using less of it. However any cheese that melts well will work. Why not try mozzarella, monetary jack or Swiss instead.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Pre heat your oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the shallots and garlic and cook on a low heat for 3-4 minutes until softened.
Two: Add the chicken breasts and cook for 5-6 minutes each side.
Three: Add the barbecue sauce and passata and mix well.
Four: Top with the bacon.
Five: Add the cheese.
Six: Put in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the bacon and chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted.
Why should you try it?
- Comforting - This is comfort food that the whole family will love. Chicken breasts always go down well in our house, but smother them in BBQ sauce and cheese, and you have a super comforting meal.
- Adaptable - There are so many different vegetables that you can add to this to really bulk it out and give it a nutrient boost and we have shared our favourites below.
- Freezes well - If you have leftovers of this, or just want to make extra, then it freezes well.
- Quick - This is ready in just 30 minutes. Perfect for those busy night when you want something hearty that the kids will eat, ready and on the table as quickly as possible.
What is Hunter's chicken?
Hunter's chicken is a really simple chicken dish of a chicken breast, BBQ sauce, bacon and cheese. Total comfort food and a great way to use chicken breast if you are bored of the same old recipes. It's a classic on a pub restaurant menu, but so easy to make at home and easy to adapt.
Homemade BBQ sauce
All of the amazing flavour in this chicken dish comes from our Homemade BBQ Sauce. It's a healthier version to store bought sauce that is usually loaded with salt and sugar. Less than 10 ingredients, all of which you probably& have in your kitchen already!
We have used honey to sweeten ours, but you could use maple syrup instead. You can also make a smoky and spicy BBQ sauce by adding plenty of smoked paprika and cayenne.
What to serve it with
We served this chicken with fries with our incredible Homemade French Fry Seasoning and some ranch slaw. However there are lots of options when it comes to side dishes.
Store: You can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days in an air tight container. Just make sure that it has cooled fully first.
Freeze: You can freeze this, making it a great batch cook meal. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months in a freezer container or zip lock bag.
Defrost: Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: You can reheat it in a microwavable container for 4-5 minutes, until fully heated though.
They are both pretty much the same, however Hunter's chicken tends to have a bit more sauce. Also, Chicken New Yorker can sometimes be served with breading on it.
Whilst this is pretty indulgent comfort food, there is a few ways to lighten it up. We have used our homemade BBQ sauce that is lower in salt and sugar that store bought BBQ sauce. You can also use less cheese in this dish, and make sure to use a mature cheddar as that has a stronger flavour, meaning that you can use less of it.
This dish is also a good opportunity to add some extra vegetables. When you are frying the shallots and garlic, you could add some finely chopped mushrooms, courgette and bell peppers.
Why not give a green boost to this dish by finely chopping some spinach in to the BBQ sauce mix.
Yes, this works really well in the slow cooker. Simply wrap the chicken breasts in bacon and put them at the bottom of the slow cooker and season. Cover them with the BBQ sauce mixture, put the lid on and then cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
Check the chicken is cooked through and then transfer it to an ovenproof dish, top with the rest of the BBQ sauce and some cheese and put it under the grill until the cheese has melted.
This dish cooks in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, but the exact cooking time will depend on your oven. It will be cooked when the juices run clear, but that is a bit hard to tell with the BBQ sauce. The best way to ensure that it is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. Chicken is cooked when it has an internal temperature of 75°C/167°F.
• Why not make this dish even more indulgent by adding a melt in the middle cheese centre to the chicken. Once you have browned the chicken, butterfly it and add some grated cheese and then follow the rest of the recipe. When it is all cooked, and you cut in to the chicken, the melted cheese will ooze out of it.
• Add some extra flavour to the BBQ sauce with some chopped up sun-dried tomatoes.
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Easy Hunter's Chicken
- 600 g chicken breast (about 5oz/150g per breast)
- 3 shallots finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 100 ml passata
- 80 ml bbq sauce
- 4 rashers bacon
- 100 g mature cheddar grated
- Pre heat your oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the shallots and garlic and cook on a low heat for 3-4 minutes until softened.3 shallots, 2 garlic cloves
- Add the chicken breasts and cook for 5-6 minutes each side.600 g chicken breast
- Add the BBQ sauce and passata and mix well.100 ml passata, 80 ml bbq sauce
- Top with the bacon.4 rashers bacon
- Add the cheese.100 g mature cheddar
- Put in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the bacon and chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted.
- Why not make this dish even more indulgent by adding a melt in the middle cheese centre to the chicken? Once you have browned the chicken, butterfly it and add some grated cheese and then follow the rest of the recipe. When it is all cooked, and you cut in to the chicken, the melted cheese will ooze out of it.
- Add some extra flavour to the BBQ sauce with some chopped up sun-dried tomatoes.