How to make creamy chicken and spring-onion cobbler

Spring onions are for more than merely salads, says our Kitchen Garden Cook Melanie Johnson.

They’re ideal in salads and stir fries, of course, and Melanie recommends one in particular: five spring onions, 400g prawns, a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger and two grated cloves of garlic, thrown in a wok with three tablespoons of mirin (Japanese rice wine), a tablespoon of soy sauce, half a teaspoon of sesame oil and a sprinkling of chilli flakes.

But they can also be put to more exotic use, as this recipe shows.

Recipe: Creamy chicken and spring-onion cobbler


Serves 4

  • A splash of olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized slices and seasoned
  • 75g pancetta, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3tbspn plain flour
  • 125ml white wine
  • 700ml chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100ml double cream
  • A handful fresh parsley,chopped

For the spring-onion cobbles

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  • 275ml whole milk
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 100g cold unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten


Preheat your oven to 160˚C fan/180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4.

Heat a splash of olive oil in an ovenproof dish, add the chicken and pancetta and cook until the chicken has browned and the pancetta is crispy. Remove to a plate. In the same pan, fry until softened the diced onion, carrot and celery, then add the garlic. Sprinkle over the flour, mixing it in, followed by the white wine. Heat until reduced by half, then pour in the stock and add the bay leaf. Simmer to reduce the stock by one-third and then return the chicken and pancetta to the pan. Pour in the cream and add the parsley.

To make the cobbles, form the buttermilk by squeezing the lemon juice into the milk and leaving for 30 minutes to curdle. (Or you could buy buttermilk.) Add the flour to a large bowl, then, with your fingertips, rub in the cold butter, diced. Add a pinch of salt, pour over the buttermilk and use a cutlery knife to chop it in. Tip in the sliced spring onions, then bring it together in your hands and place on a floured surface. Shape to 1¼in–1½in thickness, then cut circles. Arrange the cobbles over the chicken and brush with beaten egg. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden.

Serve fresh from the oven with buttered greens.