French Chicken by Muma Dean
I created this dish to cook in my new Dutch oven (I know, very funny) which my husband bought for me for our 7th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago. So I would just like to take a moment to big up this incredible man who is a true HG Hero. Not only was he the most incredible supportive and caring nurse to me during my three pregnancies, he also became “super single dad” in pregnancies #2 and #3. Since then he has supported me in my hedonistic determination to change things for the better for hyperemesis sufferers around the country and indeed the world. From taking the kids out for the day so I can work, to supporting my various trips around the country and world for conferences and meetings, as well as fund-raising and working late into the night putting conference packs together in our kitchen... this man really is wonderful :)
Anyway, down to business... I didn't really know what to call this dish but it struck me as rather French and was influenced by a dish a French farm volunteer once cooked for us so I called it French Chicken. Although I cooked it on the campfire it can also be cooked in the oven in a big casserole dish. It's super easy as you just put it all in and away you go!
Although it's an easy dish for a weekday it's also a bit fancy and could be served dinner party style.
I cooked this for 5 adults and 5 kids but I'll reduce the amounts from that so it's more accessible and it's easier to scale up then down I find. I'll do it for 4 people...
4 chicken breasts and 4 chicken thighs
2 onions (or 3 if they're small)
5 cloves of garlic
25 g butter
Tbsp of herbes de provence (if you don't have this in your cupboard then simply using thyme is particularly good in this dish)
½ bottle of wine
200ml chicken stock
Some single cream, how much depends on whether or not you are on a diet! If you're not concerned for your weight or heart then you could indulge in double cream but if you want to make this healthier you could omit the cream and just stir in some half fat crème fraîche at the end instead. Also then you could switch the butter for olive oil.
Slice the onions and put them in the pot, chop the garlic and chuck that in, sprinkle on the herbs and some black pepper. Chop the butter into knobs and put that in. Here is a picture of what you'll have thus far:
Lay the chicken breasts and thighs on top and then pour in the stock and wine and cream until you've got the liquid level up to the chicken; like this:
Put the lid on and hang over the fire or put in the oven (sort of medium to hot, maybe around gas 5-6/190deg?) for about 1 hour or a bit longer. Basically until the chicken is tender and falling apart.
Serve with boiled basmati rice, or mash potatoes, or pasta, or whatever you fancy really!