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Pot Roasted chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, colcannon and a creamy tarragon sauce

6 Oct

Pot Roasted chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, colcannon and a creamy tarragon sauce imageDon’t be scared at the amount of garlic in this deliciously tasty dish, real comfort food, my take on a typical roast chicken.

Ingredients
For the chicken

* 250g shallots 

* 1.5kg whole fresh chicken preferably free range 

* ½ lemon, halved 

* 1 large bay leaf

* 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme

* 25g butter

* 1 tbsp sunflower oil

* 40 garlic cloves unpeeled 

* 150ml/vermouth

* 250ml chicken stock preferably homemade 

* 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves

* 100ml double cream or crème fraîche

* flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



For the colcannon

* 1kg floury potatoes, preferably Maris Piper or King Edward

* 75g butter

* 100g rindless smoked streaky bacon rashers, cut into 2cm/¾in pieces

* 300g fresh kale

* 6 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

* 200ml double cream

* flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method
* Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place the shallots in a heat-proof bowl, cover with just-boiled water and leave to stand for five minutes. This will make the skins easier to remove.


* Remove any string from the chicken and place the lemon and bay leaf inside the cavity. Generously season the chicken inside and out with plenty of flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with the chopped thyme over all sides. 


* Melt the butter with the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Brown the chicken over a medium-high heat for a couple of minutes on each side. 


* Drain the shallots and, once cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and trim, halving any larger ones. Add the whole garlic cloves and shallots to the casserole, nestling around the chicken.


* Pour over the vermouth and chicken stock. Cover the casserole with a tight-fitting lid and bring the liquid to a simmer on the hob, then transfer to the oven for 1¼ hours, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the garlic is completely softened.
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* Transfer the chicken, garlic and shallots to a warmed platter and cover with a piece of foil and a couple of dry tea towels. Holding the casserole with an oven-cloth, tilt the chicken liquor to one side. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface and discard.

* Return the casserole to the hob and stir in the tarragon and cream (or crème fraîche). Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring. Cook for three minutes. Season to taste and pour into a warmed jug. 


* For the colcannon, peel the potatoes and cut into evenly-sized chunks. Put in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 15 minutes, or until very tender. Test with the tip of a knife. Instead of boiling you could use baked potatoes , once baked just scoop out of the skins and mash.


* While the potatoes are cooking, trim the thick stems and cut out much of the tough central vein from each kale leaf. Thinly shred the leaves and wash in a colander under cold running water. Drain.


* Heat 25g/1oz of the butter in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the bacon and kale for four minutes, stirring regularly until the kale is tender. If it is still a little tough after four minutes, add a couple of tablespoons of cold water and continue cooking for a couple of minutes more. Add the spring onions and cook for one minute, stirring. 
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* Drain the potatoes in a large colander and return to the saucepan. Leave to stand for a couple of minutes. Warm the cream and remaining butter in small pan. Mash the cooked potatoes with the cream and milk until smooth and season to taste. Use a set of electric beaters if you want your mash to be really fluffy and light.


* Tip the softened kale into the same pan and stir together until lightly combined. Transfer to a warmed dish.image
* Carve the chicken into chunky pieces and serve with the sauce and colcannon. image
For more info contact; simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031(0)642297107image

Escalopes of salmon with a saffron sorrel sauce, Vichy carrots and creamy mashed potatoes

23 Sep

Escalopes of salmon with a saffron sorrel sauce, Vichy carrots and creamy mashed potatoesimage
A delicious comforting dish from the great Rick Stein that I’ve adapted and added my own touch to. It can be eaten on a week night or can be dressed up for a dinner party, either way it won’t disappointimage
For the salmon and sauce
* 750g skinned, sustainably sourced salmon fillet
* 2 tbsp sunflower oil
* 300ml fish stock (homemade if possible
* 90ml double cream
* 25ml dry vermouth
* 15g sorrel leaves ( if not available just use fresh flat leaf parsley)
* 40g unsalted butter
* 1-2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
* Pinch of saffron

For the Vichy carrots
* 24 baby carrots, trimmed
* 50g/2oz butter
* 4 tbsp water
* 1 tbsp caster sugar
* 2 tbsp chopped parsley

For the mash
* 600g/1lb 5oz King Edward potatoes
* 50g/2oz butter
* 200ml/7floz double cream

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METHOD
* 1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Rub a little oil over each potato and put on the top shelf of the oven. Bake for 20 mins, then turn down the oven to 190C/170C fan/ gas 5 and bake for 45 mins-1 hr more until the skin is crisp and the flesh soft. Remove from the oven. Make a cross in the centre of each potato, scoop out and pass through a potato ricer add the cream and butter, season to taste, keep warm until serving

* 2. Halve any large carrots and place in a large saucepan with the butter, sugar and a pinch of salt. Cover the carrots half way with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until just tender. Turn up the heat and cook until the water has evaporated and you’re left with a buttery glaze. This will take 5-10 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season

* 3. Remove any bones from the salmon fillet with tweezers. Using a sharp filleting knife, cut the salmon at an angle of about 45 degrees into 12 wide slices (known as escalopes). Lay them on a lightly oiled baking sheet, brush with a little more oil and season with salt.

* 4. Put the fish stock, half the cream and the vermouth into a medium pan and boil briskly until reduced by three quarters (it will take 15-20 minutes). Meanwhile, wash the sorrel leaves, remove the stalks and finely shred the leaves. Set aside. Heat the grill to high.

* 5. When the fish stock and cream mixture has reduced to the required amount, add the rest of the cream, the butter and lemon juice. Reduce a little more until it forms a thick, creamy, rich sauce.

* 6. Grill the salmon escalopes for 1 minute on each side in a hot pan with oil image

* 7. To serve, lay 3-4 salmon slices on warmed plates, pour over some of the buttery sauce, sprinkle generously with sorrel and serve with the carrots and potatoimage

For more information don’t hesitate to contact me;
simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031(0)642297107image

French Onion Soup ” soupe à l’oignon. “

13 Feb

French Onion Soup ” soupe à l’oignon. “image
There are few things more comforting than making a real French onion soup – slowly cooked, caramelised onions that turn mellow and sweet in a broth laced with white wine. The whole thing is finished off with crunchy baked croutons of crusty bread topped with melted, toasted cheese. If ever there was a winter stomach warmer, this is surely it!

Legend has it that the first French Onion Soup was created by King Louis the XV of France when all that could be found in the pantry of his hunting party’s lodge was butter, onions and champagne. It is said that he combined these ingredients to create the first French Onion Soup. It is unclear if this story is myth of fact, but it is a good story none the less!

Onions have been a popular staple in preparing meals from at least as far back as the Roman Times. Onions are easily grown in most soils they are cheap abundantly available and have a long shelf-life. For this reason onions were seen as The Poor Mans food.

The modern version of the soup has evolved from a basic recipe where onions were sliced, fried and then cooked in water and would typically be served with bread and capers. It was only in the nineteenth century that cooks started adding flour, salt and pepper and topped the soup with cheeses such as Gruyere.

Today French Onion Soup Recipes is often made with caramelized onion in a meaty broth. This is often served in individual ramekins and topped with grilled Gruyere cheese

Ingredients

50g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1.5kg onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 tsp sugar
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp plain flour
250ml dry white wine
2 litres organic beef, vegetable or chicken stock, hot
140g Gruyère, finely grated
1 good handful fresh sage leaves
Salt and pepper to season

For the croutons
French bread or baguette cut into diagonal slices
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves crushed

Method

1.First make the croutons – begin by drizzling the olive oil on to a large, solid baking-sheet, add the crushed garlic and then, using your hands, spread the oil and garlic all over the baking sheet. Now place the bread slices on top of the oil, then turn over each one so that both sides have been lightly coated with the oil.image
Bake them in the oven for 20-25 minutes till crispy and crunchy
2. Put the butter, 2 lugs of olive oil, the sage and garlic into a thick-bottomed, non-stick pan. Stir everything round and add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Place a lid on the pan, leaving it slightly ajar, and cook slowly for 50 minutes, without colouring the vegetables too much. Remove the lid for the last 20 minutes – your onions will become soft and golden. Stir occasionally so that nothing catches on the bottom. Having the patience to cook the onions slowly, slowly, gives you an incredible sweetness, so don’t be tempted to speed this bit up.
3. Now Add in the flour and stir well. Increase the heat and keep stirring as you gradually add the wine, followed by the hot stock. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins.
4. To serve, Preheat the oven or grill to maximum. Correct the seasoning of the soup. When it’s perfect, ladle it into individual heatproof serving bowls and place them on a baking tray Put a slice or two of crunchy croutons on top of the bowls of soup, and pile on the cheese. Grill until melted and bubbling. image
For more info mail or call; 0031(0)642297107 simon.bingham@simons-sauces.comimage

Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with boulangere potatoes

3 Oct

Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with boulangere potatoes

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Last weekend i had some guests over for dinner, it was a busy day, most of it spent away from home! So what to cook for them? Well I need something with not too much hassle that can impress!
Well I saw a great very simple recipe that was on a new cooking show from the BBC “Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food.” Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with boulangere potatoes, which was just perfect because I didn’t have much time to prepare anything, and wasn’t really in the mood to cook.
Omg I have to report this was delicious, the lamb just fell from the bone and melted in the mouth, the first layer of potatoes crispy and underneath unctuous and full of flavour from the thyme and onions.

Ingredients
Less than 30 mins preparation time
5 hours cooking time
Serves 6

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3 medium onions, thinly sliced
6 large waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced using a mandolin
1 bunch thyme, leaves picked
salt and black pepper
1 whole lamb shoulder
1 garlic bulb, peeled and separated into cloves
600ml good quality lamb or chicken stock
75ml olive oil
50g butter in blocks
cooked French beans (or other green vegetables), to serve

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Preparation method

Preheat the oven to 130C/275F/Gas 1.
1. In a roasting tin or dish layer the potatoes then the onions and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, repeat until everything is used up, the top layer should be potato, now scatter with the butter

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2, Cut small incisions all over the lamb using a small knife and stick the whole garlic cloves in the holes, pushing them deep into the meat to prevent them burning while the meat cooks.
3, season with salt and pepper and rub the olive oil all over he meat, now place on top of the potatoes

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4, Pour the chicken stock over and place in the oven for 4-5 hours, or until the potatoes are crisp on top and soft inside.

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Maybe it’s time to open some wine!!! I’ve got some St Emelion from 2011 🍷👍😉cheers

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5, When cooked, remove the lamb from the oven, cover with aluminium foil and set aside to rest for 20 minutes. If the potatoes rant quite crispy enough you can place back into the oven under the grill to crisp up whilst resting the meat, keep a close eye not to burn them.
Serve with French beans (or any vegetable of your choice).
Bon appetite😋

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For more info , or if you wish I could cook it for you mail or call:
simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031 (0)642297107,

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    Spiced Fig and Plum Tarte Tatin

    16 Sep

    Spiced Fig and Plum Tarte Tatin

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    It’s autumn again and this gives us more wonderful fruit, apples, pears, plums and delicious ripe plump figs. So what to with all that extra fruit? Well I’ve a really tasty desert for every one with a sweet tooth ” my spiced fig tarte Tatin ”

    Now what is a ” Tarte Tatin ” ?
    Tarte Tatin is a famous French upside-down apple tart (actually a sweet upside-down cake , apples are the traditional filling but other fruits can be used) made by covering the bottom of a shallow baking dish with butter and sugar, then apples and finally a pastry crust. While baking, the sugar and butter create a delicious caramel that becomes the topping when the tart is inverted onto a serving plate.

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    There is one rule for eating Tarte Tatin, which is scrupulously observed. It must be served warm, so the cream melts on contact. To the French, a room temperature Tarte Tatin isn’t worth the pan it was baked in.

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    My Tarte Tatin is made with figs, plums, nuts and spices which is a delicious twist on the original!
    Here are a few fun facts and trivia about figs .

    Although dried figs are available throughout the year, there is nothing like the unique taste and texture of fresh figs. They are lusciously sweet with a texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin, and the crunchiness of their seeds. Figsare available from June through September

    Fig trees have no blossoms on their branches. The blossom is inside of the fruit! Many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little edible seeds that give figs their unique texture.

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    Figs are harvested according to nature’s clock, fully ripened and partially dried on the tree.

    Many believe it was figs that were actually the fruit in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, not apples.

    The early Olympic athletes used figs as a training food. Figs were also presented as laurels to the winners, becoming the first Olympic “medal.

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    In Roman times figs were considered to be restorative. They were believed to increase the strength of young people, to maintain the elderly in better health and to make them look younger with fewer wrinkles

    The fig tree is a symbol of abundance, fertility and sweetness.

    Eating one half cup of figs has as much calcium as drinking one-half cup of milk.

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    Ingredients

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    500g block puff pastry
    plain flour, for dusting
    200g golden caster sugar
    100 g unsalted mixed chopped nuts
    2 tsp ground allspice
    80g butter
    4 star anise
    10 figs, halved
    3 plums pitted and halved

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    Method

    1, Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to about a 3mm thickness.

    2, Place the pan that you’ll use – about 24cm – on top and cut round it with a sharp knife to make a pastry circle, Sprinkle the circle with a little of the sugar and put it into the fridge.

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    3, Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Put the remaining sugar and butter in a pan. Bring to the boil slowly, but do not stir it. When it begins to go a dark amber colour, add the star anise, allspice and cook for 1 minute more, then take from the heat

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    4, Put the figs and plums in with the stem pointing towards the centre to make a wheel pattern sprinkle over half of the nuts and cook over a low heat for 5 mins

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    5, Put the pastry lid on the top and tuck the pastry in as though you were tucking in some sheets. Put on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden, puffed and cooked through.

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    6′ Take out of the oven and leave the tart to stand for 10 mins, then invert it carefully onto a serving dish, sprinkle over the remaining nuts and serve with crème fraîche or ice cream😋.

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    If you’re still nervous about trying this dish I can cook it for you !🍴🔪
    For mor info don’t hesitate to mail or call:
    simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031 (0)642297107

    Asparagus and my Roasted Crispy Chicken with Braised Spring Vegetables Recipe

    20 May

    Asparagus.

    Spring, From asparagus and artichokes to peas and broad beans, spring brings a fresh crop of sweet, versatile vegetables that brighten any meal.

    Asparagus

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    The short-lived season, spanning just six to eight weeks, makes it the most eagerly awaited springtime food.
    The arrival of asparagus heralds the beginning of summer’s succulent salads, and the end of the wintry brassica’s reign. Long considered a delicacy, in the past asparagus has been prized as highly as oysters or truffles.

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    Here are ten facts about this sweet-stemmed springtime vegetable:
    1. Asparagus is a member of the lily family.
    2. Asparagus first came to Britain with the Romans. It thrives as a wild plant, and with its high tolerance of sandy, salty soil it will grow along riverbanks, shores of lakes, and coastlines, leading to much argument as to where it actually originated.
    3. Asparagus also comes in shades of purple and red, which turn green only when cooked.
    4. Sizes range from slender, young ‘sprue’ asparagus to thicker-stemmed, jumbo-sized ‘kitchen’ grades.
    5. It takes about three years for asparagus plants to become established, and even longer to reach a fully productive state.
    6. In the UK, asparagus is traditionally grown in the Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire, and East Anglia.
    7. Asparagus is considered a difficult food to pair with wine – it contains methyl mercaptan, a sulphur compound, which tends to give wine a vegetal or metallic taste. Try pairing asparagus with cool-climate wines that have pronounced herbal flavours to counteract this.
    8. Top accompaniments for asparagus are butter, parmesan, hollandaise and vinaigrette, eggs, bacon or pancetta.
    9. White asparagus is grown by creating mounds of soil around the growing spears, hiding them from the light and resulting in their blanched, pale look. It is particularly labour-intensive to harvest, as experienced eyes are needed to spot the spear tips in the soil.
    10. In Thailand and Vietnam asparagus is known as măng tây, which means ‘European bamboo shoots’.
    Prepping asparagus .
    Because asparagus is grown in sandy soil, rinse the spears — especially the tips — with cold water. Snap off the woody base of each spear by bending the spear a few times to find a place where it breaks easily. This is usually around the bottom third of the spear and where the woody part starts to turn tender. If desired, scrape off the scales on the spears with a vegetable peeler. This gives the spears a smooth, clean look and is especially beneficial for tough or fat spears.

    Roasted Crispy Chicken with Braised Spring Vegetables

    Ingredients : serves 4

    For the chicken:
    4 Pieces of Skin-on Bone-in Chicken Thighs
    2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
    2 Large Shallots, peeled and halved
    4 garlic cloves peel on no need to remove : smashed
    4 sprigs rosemary
    8 sprigs thyme
    Salt & Pepper to season

    For the spring vegetables:
    1 knob of butter
    olive oil
    150 ml white wine
    150 ml organic chicken or vegetable stock
    I clove garlic pealed and smashed
    2 large shallots diced
    500g asparagus
    400 g fresh peas and broad beans removed from shells (frozen can be used too)
    2 little gem lettuces, sliced
    sea salt
    freshly ground black pepper
    good-quality extra virgin olive oil

    Method

    1: Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
    2: in an oven proof dish make a bed out of the rosemary,thyme, halved shallot and garlic , pat dry the chicken pieces , season and place on top of its herby bed and dress with olive oil, cook in oven for aprox 20/25 mins until skin is crispy and cooked through.

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    3: prepare your peas, broad beans and asparagus (tip for asparagus see above ) for blanching

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    4: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt so it tastes as salty as the ocean.
    5: Prepare a large bowl of ice water
    6: Put veggies in the boiling water for max 2 mins !!! Not any longer
    7: Drain vegetables and transfer them to the ice water. Swish them around in the water until cool. Drain and pat dry .( blanching like this intensifies the the colour and flavour)

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    8: Slowly heat the butter and a good lug of olive oil in a pan add the diced shallot and garlic , cook until translucent NOT COLOURED !
    9: slowly pour in the wine & stock. Turn up the heat and add the blanched vegetables with a pinch of salt and pepper. simmer for 5 minutes or until tender

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    10: now add the little gem lettuce just to wilt ,Taste, correct the seasoning . Ready to serve

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    11: to serve . Divide the braised vegetables on to hot dishes with all its juices then carefully place the roasted chicken thighs on top , dress with good extra virgin olive oil 😋

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    This dish can be made for a quick midweek meal or for a wonderfully delicious dinner party , still flummoxed or nervous and want to try this I can come and cook it for you ! 😃🔪🍴

    For more info don’t hesitate to mail or call :
    simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com
    0031(0) 642297107

    Coq au Vin

    27 Apr

    Coq au Vin

    Coq au Vin (Chicken in Red Wine, ) comes from the Burgundy region of France. It’s a classic, country-style casserole cooked with full-bodied Burgundy wine. Often used as a comfort food during cold months.
    My Coq au vin recipe is easy to follow starting with making a basic stock (not sock with thanks to jay lol), if you don’t fancy jointing a whole chicken just buy chicken thighs and legs and use a good shop bought stock or those pesky cubes .

    Ingredients

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    Serves 4.
    a large chicken, jointed into 6 or 8 pieces, giblets and carcass saved I prefer to use cornfed free range
    an onion, a carrot and a few peppercorns for the stock
    150g pancetta or unsmoked bacon in the piece
    30g butter
    2 medium onions
    a large carrot
    2 ribs of celery
    2 cloves of garlic
    … 2 tbsps flour
    2 tbsps cognac
    a bottle of red wine
    4 or 5 small sprigs of thyme
    3 bay leaves
    40g butter
    12 small onions, peeled
    200g small mushrooms

    Method
    1:Put the chicken carcass any bits and bobs of bone and flesh into a deep pan, cover with water, add an onion and a carrot, half a dozen whole peppercorns and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and let it simmer until you need it.

    2:Cut the pancetta into short strips; they need to be thicker than a match but not quite as thick as your little finger. Put them, together with the butter, into a thick-bottomed casserole – one of enamelled cast iron would be perfect – and let them cook over a moderate heat. Stir the pancetta from time to time – it mustn’t burn – then, when it is golden, lift it out into a bowl, leaving behind the fat in the pan.

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    3:Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and place them in the hot fat in the casserole, so that they fit snugly yet have room to colour. Turn them when the underside is pale gold. The skin should be honey coloured rather than brown – it is this colouring of the skin, rather than what wine or herbs you might add later, that is crucial to the flavour of the dish. Lift the chicken out and into the bowl with the pancetta. By now you should have a thin film of goo starting to stick to the pan. This is where much of your flavour will come from.

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    4:While the chicken is colouring in the pan, peel and roughly chop the onions and carrot, and wash and chop the celery. With the chicken out, add the onions to the pan and cook slowly, stirring from time to time, until the onion is translucent and it has gone some way to dissolving some of the pan goo. Add the, peeled and thinly sliced garlic.

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    5:Return the chicken and pancetta to the pan, stir in the flour and let everything cook for a minute or two before pouring in the cognac, wine carrots, celery and tucking in the herbs. Spoon in ladles of the simmering chicken stock until the entire chicken is covered. Bring to the boil, then, just as it gets there, turn the heat down so that the sauce bubbles gently. Cover partially with a lid.

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    6:Melt the butter in a small pan, add the small peeled onions and then the mushrooms, halving or quartering them if they are too big. Let them cook until they are golden, then add them to the chicken with a seasoning of salt and pepper

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    7:Check the chicken after 40 minutes to see how tender it is. It should be soft but not falling from its bones. It will probably take about an hour, depending on the type of chicken you are using. Lift the chicken out and into a bowl.
    Turn the heat up under the sauce and let it bubble enthusiastically until it has reduced a little. As it bubbles down it will become thicker – though not thick – and will become quite glossy.
    Return the chicken to the pan and serve with rice or potatoes

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    Ok my presentation needs work but it tastes fantastic .
    For more info or I can come an cook it for you don’t hesitate to mail or call
    simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com. 0642297107

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