Recipes by Nick Nairn

Great produce is the cornerstone of my food philosophy and I find the freshness and quality of their fish outstanding.

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Nick Nairn’s Roast Thyme Chicken with Madeira sauce

A twist on traditional roast chicken

Recipe Category

Poultry Recipes

Recipe Ingredient




You will need:

  • 2 corn fed chicken breasts with skin on   Buy Now
  • 1 clove garlic skin on
  • 1 small sprig of thyme
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • Salt and pepper   Buy Now

For the Madeira Sauce

  • 80 ml Madeira
  • 30 ml port
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 2 sliced mushrooms
  • 120 ml beef stock
  • splash of red wine vinegar

For the dressing

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp good white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp good olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the chorizo

  • 2 small chorizo picante sausage
  • ½ bunch watercress
  • 2 finely chopped shallots
  • 6 boiled salad potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 2 fresh tomato skinned, seeds removed, diced
  • Olive oil
Nick Nairn’s Roast Thyme Chicken with Madeira sauce


Pre heat oven to 180°C. First cook the chicken. Heat an oven proof stainless steel medium frying pan until very hot. Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the sunflower oil to the hot pan. To test the pan temperature, touch a corner of the chicken breast into the pan, skin side down. You are looking for a good, healthy sizzle. If the temperature seems right, place the chicken in the pan, skin side down. After 2-3 minutes check the skin to see if it is evenly coloured, if so, flip the chicken breasts over and remove the pan from the heat. Allow the pan to cool for 30 seconds.

Place the flat side of a large knife on top of the garlic clove and use the heel of your hand to press down on the knife to crush the clove underneath. Add the butter to the pan and the crushed garlic clove – still with its skin on. When the butter begins to froth place the pan back on the heat and baste with the breasts with the flavoured butter for a minute. Place the pan in the oven for 8-10 minutes. A couple of minutes before you think the chicken will be ready, sprinkle the chopped thyme and salt over the skin side of the chicken breast. Remove from the oven and place on a warm tray to rest for 4-5 minutes.

For the Madeira sauce, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over a medium high heat until reduced by 2/3 or until rich deep flavour is achieved. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and set aside until required.

For the dressing place all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk together to form a rich dressing.

Rub oil over the chorizo and place on a baking tray and into the oven for 8 minutes or until they are cooked and coloured. Remove and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, slice at an angle into 2cm discs, and reserve any of the tasty oily juices that come out whilst cooking.

Place the shallot, diced tomato, and watercress into a large bowl add the dressing and gently mix through.

To serve, arrange the potato pieces and chorizo chunks in the centre of 2 serving plates. Place a handful of salad onto a warm plate and place the chicken breast on top. Spoon the Madeira sauce over and around the dish and Chorizo Stew.