26 August 2013: Recipe - pot roasted chicken

I really love roast chicken and its even better when someone else cooks it for you! Last week my mum was here to stay and she cooked me the most beautiful pot roasted chicken. I have since done my own version and thought I would share the recipe. It is incredibly simple and one of the best things are the leftovers. I know in this house the most coveted parts of the chicken are the thighs - being richer, more moist and flavourful than the breasts. Whenever we have a roasted chicken the thighs are the first to go and the breasts end up as leftovers in another meal the next day. But they usually are a little bit disappointing - a bit dry and in need of some 'dressing up'. But with this pot roast the breasts stay incredibly moist and take on the flavour of the liquid the chicken is cooked in, so that even cold the next day they are no longer the poor cousins to the thigh - in fact next time it might well be the breasts that are the coveted cut! Not only does this recipe work as leftovers the next day, but like any roast chicken (or in fact any meat on the bone) it just keeps on giving - the carcass is used to make a delicious stock, along with the leftover sauce. Buy a good quality organic free range chicken - it is more than worth it for the taste as well as the myriad of other important reasons. Serve with some roasted root vegetables and wilted spinach and use the breasts in a slad the next day.

1 whole chicken

3 rashers of bacon chopped, or a chunk of speck cut into lardons

1 onion - i used a sweet red onion but you can use anything you like really.

1.5 cups chicken stock or white wine.

Bay leaf

4 garlic cloves (whole)

Sea salt and pepper

0.5 tbs butter

In a large oven proof pot with a lid (a Le Creuset in perfect), heat the butter over a medium to high heat. Add the chicken and brown a little on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Add the bacon and onion to the pot and stir until onion is softened and bacon starting to colour. Add the white wine or stock and deglaze the pan (scrape of any bits from the bottom and stir through). Add the chicken back to the pot along with the garlic and bay leaves, season with a little salt and pepper (NB if you have used chicken stock you wont need much salt), cover and place pot into a preheated 200 degrees C oven. Cook for 1 hour 20 minutes. Serve with some of the sauce spooned over.