Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham Recipe

Last updated on April 13, 2024

Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 45 Mins Total Time: 55 Mins

Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham is a delicious and easy dish, featuring tender chicken breasts wrapped in crispy Parma ham and topped with a creamy mushroom sauce. It’s a perfect meal for any occasion, whether it’s a family dinner, a romantic date night, or a cozy weekend treat. This recipe serves 4 people and can be prepared in approximately 40 minutes.

In this article, I will show you how to make Mary Berry’s Chicken and Parma Ham step by step, with tips and tricks along the way.

What is Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham?

Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham is a refined dish where succulent chicken breasts are wrapped in crisp Parma ham, then baked to perfection and served with a creamy mushroom sauce. This elegant recipe combines the savory depth of ham with the mild tenderness of the chicken, elevated by the luxurious texture and flavor of the sauce, making it an ideal choice for any dining occasion.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

There are many reasons to love this recipe, such as:

  • Simplicity in Preparation: With straightforward steps and minimal ingredients, this recipe is accessible to cooks of all skill levels.
  • Versatile Serving Options: This dish pairs well with a variety of sides, enabling customization to suit any meal.
  • Rich in Flavor: The salty-smoky taste of the Parma ham enhances the chicken, while the creamy sauce adds a luxurious depth.
  • Highly Satisfying: A perfect blend of protein and rich sauce provides a fulfilling dining experience.
  • Elegant Presentation: Despite its simplicity, this dish has a sophisticated appearance that belies its easy preparation.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham

To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 8 slices of Parma ham
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter
  • 250 g (9 oz) chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) white wine
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham Recipe

To make this recipe, follow these steps:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and wrap the chicken

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan, gas mark 6) and lightly grease a baking dish.
  • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then wrap each one with two slices of Parma ham, tucking the ends underneath.
  • Place the wrapped chicken in the prepared baking dish, leaving some space between them.

Step 2: Bake the chicken and make the sauce

  • Bake the chicken for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cooked through and golden.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender.
  • Add the wine and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until slightly reduced.
  • Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper, then simmer for another 5 minutes, until thickened.

Step 3: Serve and enjoy

  • Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and spoon the sauce over them.
  • Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve hot, with your choice of side dish.

Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham?

To complement Mary Berry’s Chicken and Parma Ham, consider these refined pairings for a well-rounded meal:

  • Sophisticated Starches: Opt for creamy risotto, buttery mashed potatoes, or al dente pasta. Each choice beautifully captures the sauce’s richness, elevating the main dish’s flavors.
  • Refreshing Salads: A crisp arugula salad with shaved Parmesan, a vibrant tomato basil salad, or a classic coleslaw with a light vinaigrette can add a fresh, palate-cleansing contrast to the savory chicken.
  • Nutritious Vegetables: Enhance your plate with color and nutrients through steamed green beans almondine, roasted root vegetables with thyme, or spinach sautéed with garlic and olive oil.

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham

Achieve perfection in Mary Berry’s Chicken and Parma Ham by adhering to these expert suggestions:

  • Select Premium Parma Ham: Quality matters. A higher-grade ham not only enriches the dish with its superior texture but also infuses it with a deeper, more nuanced flavor.
  • Monitor Chicken Carefully: To ensure moist and tender chicken, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, aiming for an internal temperature of 74°C (165°F). Overcooking is the nemesis of succulence.
  • Substitution Savvy: If white wine is unavailable, consider alternatives like chicken stock or apple juice to maintain the sauce’s complexity. Each substitute offers a unique twist while preserving the sauce’s essential character.
  • Sauce Consistency: For a thicker sauce, a slurry of cornstarch and water can be your ally. Adjust the quantity to achieve your desired sauce thickness, enhancing the dish’s texture and appeal.
  • Advance Preparation: Wrapping the chicken in ham ahead of time and chilling it can save you time and stress. Similarly, preparing the sauce in advance and reheating it ensures a smooth cooking process, perfect for entertaining or a hassle-free meal.

Variations of Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham

Personalize Mary Berry’s Chicken and Parma Ham by exploring these inventive adjustments:

  • Diverse Ham Selections: Venture beyond Parma ham with prosciutto, serrano, or even a smoky bacon wrap. Each offers a distinct taste and texture, allowing for a customized flavor profile.
  • Mushroom Medley: Experiment with a variety of mushrooms, from the earthy depth of portobellos to the delicate flavor of shiitakes, to enrich the sauce with different mushroom textures and tastes.
  • Cheesy Delights: Elevate the dish with a sprinkle of mozzarella, Parmesan, or cheddar. Adding cheese directly to the sauce or atop the chicken before the final bake introduces a gooey, savory element.
  • Herbal Essence: Infuse the dish with aromatic herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage. Whether incorporated into the sauce or used as a rub for the chicken, herbs can dramatically transform the flavor landscape.
  • Vegetable Integration: Introducing peas, asparagus, or zucchini into the sauce or alongside the chicken in the baking dish adds vibrant colors, textures, and flavors, making the dish even more hearty and appealing.

How do I Store Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham Leftovers?

Proper storage is key to preserving the freshness and flavor of Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham leftovers.

Follow these steps to ensure your dish remains delicious for later enjoyment:

  • Cool Down: Allow the leftovers to cool to room temperature. This minimizes the risk of bacterial growth.
  • Airtight Container: Transfer the cooled chicken and any sauce into an airtight container. If you have a large amount of sauce, you might consider storing it separately to retain the texture of the chicken when reheating.
  • Refrigerate or Freeze: Place the container in the refrigerator if you plan to consume the leftovers within 3 days. For longer storage, freeze the dish. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Label: If freezing, label the container with the date and contents. This helps keep track of how long the leftovers have been stored.

How do I Reheat Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham Leftovers?

Reheating leftovers correctly is crucial to revive the dish’s original flavors and textures.

Here’s how to efficiently reheat Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham leftovers:

  • Oven Method (Recommended): Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the chicken and sauce in an oven-safe dish. Cover with foil to prevent drying out and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. The oven helps maintain the texture of the Parma ham and gently warms the chicken and sauce.
  • Stovetop Method: Pour the sauce into a skillet and add the chicken. Cover and heat over a medium-low flame, stirring occasionally. This method allows for controlled heating and helps prevent the sauce from separating. Heat until the chicken is warmed through, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Microwave Method: If short on time, you can use the microwave. Place the chicken and sauce in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or wrap, and heat on medium power in 2-minute intervals, stirring the sauce between intervals to ensure even heating. Continue until the chicken is thoroughly heated. This method is quick but might slightly alter the texture of the dish.

Nutrition value per serving (based on 4 servings):

  • Calories: 569 kcal
  • Fat: 16.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34.5 g
  • Protein: 64.5 g
  • Fiber: 4.5 g
  • Sodium: 1.2 g


Can I Prepare Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham in Advance?

Yes, you can prepare parts of this dish in advance to save time. The chicken breasts can be wrapped in Parma ham and stored in the refrigerator up to a day before you plan to cook them. The mushroom sauce can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated. When you’re ready to serve, simply bake the chicken as directed and reheat the sauce on the stove, adding a little extra cream if needed to adjust the consistency.

What are the Best Sides to Serve with Mary Berry Chicken and Parma Ham?

The rich flavors of this dish pair beautifully with a variety of sides. Light and fluffy mashed potatoes, al dente pasta, or aromatic basmati rice make excellent bases to soak up the creamy mushroom sauce. For a healthier option, serve with steamed green vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, or green beans. A crisp side salad dressed with vinaigrette can add a refreshing contrast to the dish’s richness.

How Can I Make the Mushroom Sauce Thicker?

If you find the mushroom sauce too thin for your liking, you can thicken it using a cornstarch slurry. Mix a teaspoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water until smooth, then stir this mixture into the simmering sauce. Cook for an additional few minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce reaches your desired thickness. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Is There a Substitute for Parma Ham in This Recipe?

If Parma ham is not available, you can substitute it with prosciutto, serrano ham, or even thinly sliced bacon. Each alternative will offer a slightly different flavor profile but can complement the chicken beautifully. Keep in mind that bacon will render more fat and may alter the dish’s final taste and texture, so adjust cooking times accordingly to ensure the chicken remains moist and tender.

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Mary Berry’s Chicken and Parma Ham recipe. It’s a simple and delicious dish that will impress your guests and satisfy your taste buds. Try it today and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Bon appétit!

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