A Gordon Ramsay recipe from The Times, but don’t let that stop you.
Serves 3 normal people, or 4 with small appetites. Serve with rice or sautéed potatoes, plus some green vegetables, and a glass of cold white wine.
You will need a heavy sauté pan with a lid. Also, warm the oven to a low heat (50C), just to keep things warm (hey, put your plates in to warm up!).
15 minutes prep, 45 to 50 minutes to cook.
- Either, a large chicken jointed into eight pieces or, to make life easier, 8 or 10 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on.
- 150g smoked bacon lardons.
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed.
- 150g or a bit more of chestnut mushrooms or tasty wild mushrooms. In the case of chestnut mushrooms, these should be halved. For other mushrooms, cut into large chunks (not small pieces – they get lost).
- 100ml brandy. Ramsay doesn’t put enough in for my liking (he calls for less).
- 450ml chicken stock.
- 1 bay leaf.
- 2 or 3 sprigs rosemary.
- 2 or 3 generous sprigs of thyme – you just want the leaves, discard the stems.
- A handful of parsley, roughly chopped. Flat leaf parsley works best.
- Salt, pepper.
- Olive oil for frying.
- Using a large sauté pan over a medium to high heat, heat the oil. Season the chicken and add to the hot pan, skin side down. Sauté for 5 or 6 minutes without turning until golden (just shuffle it a bit to stop it sticking).
- Turn the chicken, add the lardons, garlic and mushrooms and mix well.
- Add the bay leaf, rosemary and thyme.
- Add the brandy. Then, carefully, set fire to the brandy (I use a kitchen torch) and flambé the chicken. Take great care, as you may get a big whoosh of flame, set fire to your eyebrows and burn the house down.
- Allow the flames to subside, then reduce the heat and allow the pan to simmer gently for 2 or 3 minutes.
- Pour over the chicken stock, then return the pan to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, then cover and cook for a further 15 to 20 minutes. Check that the chicken is cooked through (no pink meat in the middle).
- Remove the chicken pieces to a plate and put in the oven to keep warm.
- Crank up the heat on your sauté pan for a few minutes to reduce and slightly thicken the sauce.
- Remove the rosemary, garlic and bay leaf from the sauce and discard.
- Add the chicken back to the pan, and spoon the sauce over it.
- Serve immediately.