This chicken recipe is a favourite, no-fuss dinner of mine. Like any one-pot meal, it concentrates all the lovely juices and flavours and is also a great way of cooking cheaper cuts of meat, such as brisket or chuck.
2 tbsp butter
150g eschallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
150g pancetta or streaky bacon, cut into strips
1 free range chicken, about 1.5kg
250ml white wine
Bouquet garni (a sprig of thyme, parsley stems and a bay leaf tied together)
Small bunch of parsley, leaves chopped
Heat oven to 180 degrees. Melt half the butter in a large pot that will hold the chicken, and cook eschallots and whole garlic cloves until softened. Add pancetta and cook until eschallots begin to caramelise, then remove mixture and set aside for later.
In the same pot, melt remaining butter and brown chicken on all sides, then return caramelised vegetables to the pot. Add wine and allow to bubble up, then cook for five minutes, stirring and scraping browning bits from bottom of pot.
Tuck in bouquet garni, cover pot and cook for one hour, or until chicken is cooked through - check by cutting between the thigh and breast to see if juices run clear. Remove chicken from casserole, cut into eight pieces and keep warm.
Simmer cooking sauce until reduced by two thirds, then add parsley. Return chicken to pot to heat through and serve.