- 1 x 1.3kg organic chicken, jointed into 8 (see steps and method)
Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it…
- 5 tbsp plain flour
- 75ml olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 250g smoked streaky bacon, cut in pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 2 leeks, trimmed, washed and roughly chopped
Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…
- 250g shallot, peeled, but left whole
Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…
- 2 bay leaves
- 100ml Cognac
- 1 bottle red wine, preferably from Burgundy
- 100ml chicken stock (preferably homemade (see Know-how below)
- 250g fresh cep mushroom or large chestnut mushrooms, trimmed and thickly sliced
The mushroom is a fungus which comes in a wide range of varieties that belong to two distinct…
Joint the chicken (for pictures of jointing, click on step by step link above or read the instructions below. Alternatively, ask the butcher to do it for you).
JOINTING THE CHICKEN: Pull out the wing joints and cut off the wing tip. Using a small knife, cut around the skin and flesh on the lower wing joint through to the bone, then scrape back the flesh. Using a heavier large knife, smash through the bone halfway along and detach. Repeat on the other side.
Detach the scaly leg bone at the drumstick with a hefty thump of the large knife. Slash through skin where the thigh joins the body and pull leg firmly from socket to dislocate the thigh bone. Press down and pull to expose the 'oyster' muscle underneath the bird. Slice the thigh away from the back of the body.
Lay the whole leg joint out on the board, find the mid-point socket joint and simply cut straight through it for neat thigh and leg joints. Repeat on the other side.
Cut through the skin and flesh halfway along to the drumstick and scrape back the flesh, then smash through the bone.
Using poultry scissors or heavy kitchen scissors, cut away the back half of the breast carcass, to leave a 'crown' of chicken breast and wing joint. Cut through the top of the crown to divide in half for two chicken breasts.
Lay each breast joint on the board, then cut in half again at right angles so you have one portion with a wing joint and one without. You should now have eight neat, joints of chicken.
Put the flour into a bowl with some salt and pepper, then toss in the chicken, shaking off the excess. Place the chicken on a plate and season again.
Heat 4 tbsp of oil in a large shallow pan and brown the chicken joints. (Do this in batches if your pan is not large enough, adding extra oil if necessary.) Tip the bacon into the pan along with the chicken, stirring until lightly browned and crisp. Using tongs, remove the chicken to a plate.
Add all the vegetables and herbs to the bacon with a splash more oil, if necessary, then cook for about 5 mins, stirring once or twice. Pour in the Cognac and bubble up, scraping the pan to deglaze, for 2-3 mins. Then pour in all the wine and bring to the boil.
Tip in the chicken joints; press into the pan so they are immersed in liquid and cook, uncovered, for 10 mins, until the wine has reduced by half. Pour in the stock, return to a simmer, season and cook, uncovered, for 1 hr until the liquid has reduced by half and the chicken is tender. Set aside for 10 mins before serving.
Heat another 4 tbsp oil in a large frying pan and, when hot, fry the mushrooms for about 8 mins, seasoning well and stirring frequently until nicely browned. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Serve the chicken in bowls with vegetables and sauce spooned over, and top with the mushrooms.
Making chicken stockCarcasses, wing tips, etc can be used to make fresh chicken stock. Put the chicken bones in a deep pan and cover with 2 litres of water. Bring to the boil, ladle off any white froth, then add 2 chopped celery sticks, 1 chopped leek, 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped large carrot, a few garlic cloves and a sprig of thyme. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and gently simmer for 2 hrs. Strain the stock through a fine sieve and use as directed, or leave to cool and then freeze.