A CLASSIC BRAISED CHICKEN DISH AND FOR GOOD REASON, JUST SO DELICIOUS, A LITTLE TIME IN THE PREPARATION, BUT WILL REPAY YOU WELL AND ONCE IN THE OVEN YOU’RE DONE.
serves 4 Prep. time including cooking 1 hour 30 minutes
1 X 1.5kg Free range chicken, jointed into 8 (keep the backbone for stock, see note)
Sea salt, black pepper and little cayenne for seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil and a knob of butter
200g streaky bacon, diced
12 small pearl onions, whole or 3/4 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 glass of wine, red or white
300ml chicken stock
A few bay leaves, sprig of thyme and sage
To cook, place the chicken pieces in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt, pepper and a little cayenne, coat well with the seasoning.
Heat the oil and butter in a large flame proof casserole, brown the chicken pieces well, then remove on to a plate and set aside.
In the same casserole, fry the streaky bacon until nicely browned then add the onions or shallots and garlic, continue cooking for 2/3 minutes, tip in the wine and reduce by about half over a steady heat, now add the stock and herbs, keep the heat high till it boils, add back the chicken pieces. Cover the dish, reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently for 40/45 minutes or finish in the oven 180c.Gas mark 4, Check with a digital probe 75c to make sure it’s fully cooked. Serve with some basmati rice and a bowl of stirfry greens.
You could replace the whole chicken with ready prepared pieces, this will save time, but it’s good to have chicken stock made from the trimmings and backbone, just cover with cold water, handful of herbs, some black pepper, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer away while you do the rest of the prep. You can also buy streaky bacon ready prepared (lardons) this will also save time but a little joint is really useful in the fridge, very economical for many quick meals, great with slow cooked haricot beans and tomato sauce or avocado and bacon salad for a quick lunch.