Saturday, 4 December 2010

Nigella's Chicken... one to warm you up in this big freeze!

Another Nigella recipe... Can you tell I'm a huge fan yet?
I made this Chicken last Sunday as it started to snow and I felt under the weather, it's a real hearty nutritious dinner and is perfect in this chill! I know that in a couple of weeks, everyone will be thinking about Turkey or Goose for their Christmas lunch so this is a recipe to cook in the weekends before or after. If you're looking for a new stock pot (to cook this in), try Costco, they have a hugee one for about £30! A real bargain. If you have some left over, it turns into a good soup!
Ingredients - (Serves 6)
1 large chicken
2tsp garlic oil
100ml white wine 
4 leeks, cleaned, trimmed and cut into 7cm logs
4 carrots, peeled and cut into logs
1-2 sticks celery, sliced
2 litres cold water
1 bouquet garni
A few sprigs of parsley (Optional - I hate parsley so left it out)
2 tsps Salt
A few really good grindings of pepper or add pink peppercorns
To serve - mustard

Get out a large, flame-safe cooking pot (with a lid) so the chicken can fit snugly.
On a washable board, un-truss the chicken and put it breast-side down and press until the breastbone cracks (trust me, it's not as bad as it sounds) and then press down again to flatten it. Then cut off the ankle joints with kitchen scissors (keep them).
Put the oil in the pan to heat, then brown the chicken breast-side down and turn up the heat and turn over the chicken, tossing the feet in. Still over a high heat, add the wine to the pan and let it bubble before adding leeks, celery and carrots.
Pour in enough cold water to cover the chicken but leave the very top poking out, put the bouquet garni in and the parsley if using. The chicken should be almost completely submerged by now, if not add some more cold water until it is just about covered.
Bring to the boil and then clamp on the lid, turn the heat right down and leave to cook for 1 1/2- 2hours. I gave it 1 hour 40 mins then left it to stand with the heat off but lid still on for the last 20mins.
Then carve the chicken, it should be so tender that it falls straight off the bone and serve the chicken with the vegetables and brown basmati rice, adding a ladleful or two of liquid over each shallow bowl, as you go.
Then serve with more black pepper and the mustard. 

N.B My parents wanted theirs with potatoes and this works well too, I also cooked up some cabbage to have on the side and added peas into the broth.
Also, if you have some left over (we seemed to have loads), you can make some soup out of it in the following days.

< A good meal for the cold weather, this is a photo from a snowy walk I had with my puppy in the week.

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