This is my favourite way to cook chicken breast, the poaching method gives you a juicy and succulent breast every time. The Potato gratin is a lighter version of the popular dauphine potatoes, by removing the cream it gives the dish a less heavy feel.

      Crispy chicken and leek potato gratin

      Recipe by The Exploration of FoodCourse: Mains, RecipesDifficulty: moderate


      Prep time


      Total time






      • Potato Gratin
      • 2 onions, finely sliced

      • 50g butter

      • 1 Sprig of Thyme

      • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1⁄2 lemon, juiced

      • 3⁄4 cup chicken bone broth or stock, heated

      • 3 potatoes peeled

      • 4 slices streaky bacon or thinly sliced pancetta

      • 400g of baby carrots (any colour)

      • For the Chicken
      • 2 large chicken breasts, skin on

      • a handful of thyme and/or rosemary leaves finely chopped

      • Ghee or butter for frying

      • 1 cup of hot chicken stock

      • 1⁄2 lemon, thinly sliced


      • Heat oven to 200°C.
      • Place onions in a pot with butter, thyme sprig and garlic and cook over low heat for 20 minutes until very soft but not coloured, stirring often. Add lemon juice and cook 2 minutes. Add 1⁄2 cup of the hot broth and cook 5 minutes. Take off heat and discard thyme.
      • Thinly slice the potatoes (about 2mm). Don’t wash the slices; the starch will help hold the gratin together. Layer in a shallow oven dish: and begin with 2 layers of potato, add a layer of onion mixture (season with salt and pepper) then the bacon slices or pancetta. Repeat until you run out of ingredients, finishing with a layer of potatoes. Drizzle remaining hot stock over and bake 30 minutes or until tender.
      • About 20 minutes into the cooking time, increase oven to 220°C and prepare chicken.
      • Pat breasts dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper, add some of the herbs. Melt a knob of ghee or butter in an ovenproof frying pan and fry the chicken skin side down, 2-3 minutes until the skin is crispy and has a lovely colour, then turn over and fry another 2 minutes.
      • Add the hot broth, some more herbs and the lemon slices (careful as it will splutter and steam) transfer immediately to the oven and bake 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
      • While the chicken and potatoes are cooking, bring a pan of salted water to boil and cook your carrots until just tender, they need to remain firm. Once they are cooked remove from the heat and set aside.
      • Remove your chicken breast and Gratin from the oven, allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving.
      • During this time take a frying pan and with a little ghee/butter, lightly fry the carrots, sprinkle with any leftover herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and serve along side the chicken and gratin.