Chicken Fricassee

This recipe is taken from Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cookery Program (click over the link to see him in action!).  He served it with Herby Sautéed Potatoes, whereas I did mine with a mixture of roast veggies.

Serves 4
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large free-range chicken, jointed into 8 pieces (2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 breasts cut in half). I myself use all thighs as I’m not too keen on breast meat!
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150g smoked bacon lardons
4 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
150g chestnut mushrooms, halved
1 bay leaf
2 rosemary sprigs
2 thyme sprigs, leaves only
75ml brandy
450ml chicken stock
Small handful of parsley, chopped

1 Place a large heavy-based sauté pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Season the chicken, add to the hot pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes on one side, until golden. Turn the chicken, then add the lardons, garlic and mushrooms and mix well. Stir in the bay leaf, rosemary and thyme.
2 Add the brandy and, very carefully, tilt the hot pan towards the lit gas to ignite the alcohol and flambé the chicken. This must be done cautiously because it will create a huge flame. Allow it to die down, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes.
3 Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, then cover and cook for a further 15-20 minutes, until all the chicken pieces are done. Transfer them to a plate, then increase the heat for a few minutes to reduce and slightly thicken the sauce. Return the chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce over it.
4 Before serving, discard the garlic, rosemary and bay leaf, and sprinkle with the parsley.

Peel a few parsnips and carrots and scrub and slice some potatoes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle over some olive oil and mix well with your hands so all the veggies are well coated. Throw in a few sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary and roast in a pre-heated oven (180ºC) for around 35-40mins until cooked.