Sep 01 2013

Leftover Chicken Pie

A delicious smell of chicken stock floats into the study as I write, the very last vestiges of a delicious local free range bird I bought from the Pollards last week. We’re hard to please when it comes to chickens having spent so many years raising table birds ourselves. But this was as good as anything we used to sell! And it provided so many meals. First I cooked traditional roast chicken. The following day a wonderful cold chicken salad, then a chicken and mushroom pie with added Hogs Pudding. The latter made by the aforesaid Richard Pollard even won the approval of by my Cornish husband! This evening a risotto and still to go, stock for soup, even scraps as a treat for the dogs! Not bad for one small chicken.

Left over chicken pie

Strip the last pieces of meat from the carcase. Use the bones to make stock for soup.

Finely chop a small onion or shallot in a little butter and oil (the oil stops the butter burning)

When the onion is soft but not coloured add sliced mushrooms, a little chopped bacon and Hogs Pudding if you can get it. It tends to be available only in the West Country.

Cook gently for a few minutes then stir in stock or left over gravy to a creamy consistency. Thicken with corn flour if necessary.

Add the chicken and some chopped parsley. Taste and season accordingly.

Tip into a pie dish. Cover with ready-made puff pastry. Brush with beaten egg and bake for till crisp and golden in a hot oven 200 c

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Jan 15 2010

Chicken with Garlic, Chorizo and Fennel

Our local drama group, The Dit’sum Players, came to lunch recently, some twenty two of us in all squashed up in our dining room. I cooked a huge dish of chicken with shallots, fennel, celeriac, pancetta, chorizo, potatoes, olives and whole cloves of garlic; a kind of Chicken Orvieto with Spanish overtones. It was delicious!  We ate it with baked vegetables in cheese sauce, a substantialand very nice vegetarian alternative, boiled potatoes and green salad followed bybig apricot and apple tarts, ice cream and cheese and biscuits.

For four people:

1 big free range chicken
Three of four fat chopped shallots or a large sliced onion
3 bulbs of garlic; about 20 cloves left whole and unpeeled
2 cloves of garlic crushed with salt
Large head of Fennel and 400grms celeriac both cut into match sticks
400 grms cooking Chorizo sausage sliced thickly
150ml dry white wine
150ml chicken stock made from the carcass; see making stock under soup section(or stock cube if you must!)
A few black olives
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

First joint the chicken into six pieces. Save the carcass for stock.  Brown chicken pieces in olive oil. Stir in chorizo, crushed garlic and shallots ; sizzle for a few minutes to soften. Add stock and wine, stir well to deglaze pan scraping gently with a wooden spoon. Bring to steady simmer and put in a moderate oven for thirty minutes.
Meanwhile blanch fennel, whole garlic cloves and celeriac for 2 minutes , plunging all into fast boiling water.
Drain thoroughly and add to chicken and chorizo. Cook a further 10 minutes in the oven. Test chicken is cooked through.
Drain off juices and use to makeVeloute sauce. Melt 25gms butter in a small pan. Stir in 25grms flour off the heat then slowly add 300ml of pan juices stirring continuously till smooth. You may need to make up the quantity with extra stock. Stir over heat till thick and very hot. Continue for a couple more minutes to make sure flour is cooked.
Pour the sauce over the chicken, scatter with olives and serve.

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Sep 10 2007

Galantine of Chicken

Large free range fresh chicken

Sharp filleting knife

2 large shallot or I onion

500gms minced pork

6/8 juniper berries

2 large cloves of garlic

1 generous tablespoon mixed fresh herbs

Zest and juice of a lemon

A glass of red wine

200grams (approx) chicken livers

2 handfuls blanched spinach leaves

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Chop the onion or shallots, crush the juniper berries in a pestle and mortar and crush the garlic to a paste with a little salt. Strip the zest from the lemon with a lemon zester or a potato peeler and squeeze the juice. Stir all together into the minced pork with the mixed herbs, a good slurp of red wine, salt and pepper.

Turn the chicken upside down i.e. breast bone underneath and m, making a long cut through the skin, carefully bone the chicken with a very sharp knife. I prefer a filleting knife with a flexible blade that i can slide against the bones. I leave the wing bones in to give a little structure. Be very careful not to puncture the skin.

When the carcass and the thigh bones are removed open the meat out flat and season well. Press half the pork mixture into the chicken followed by half the blanched spinach. Arrange the chicken livers on the spinach then complete with remaining spinach and pork.

Carefully close the chicken and sew up using fine string and a larding needle. Press the chicken roughly back into a chicken shape. Wrap in tin foil and place in a close fitting dish. Stand the dish in a Bain Marie and cook at 180c for one and a half hours.

Test with a skewer; if the juices run clear it is cooked through. If the juices are pink continue cooking for a further few minutes and test again.

Take the chicken out of the oven and carefully remove from the Bain Marie. Tip out the water and return to the pan. Press a heavy weight on top of the chicken. When it is quite cold put in the refrigerater.

Serve sliced on a large plate decorated with fresh sliced lemons and salad leaves.

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May 21 2007

Terrine of Pork and Chicken

Prepare the terrine at least a day in advance.

You will need:-

500gms streaky bacon

500gms belly of pork

500gms boneless chicken

3 crushed cloves of garlic

2 finely chopped shallots

1teaspoon green pepper corns

5-6 crushed juniper berries

1 generous tablespoon fresh chopped herbs e.g. parsley, thyme, marjoram

Small glass of red wine

Bay leaves and lemon slices to decorate

Mince the belly of pork with 250 grams of chicken. Mix well adding  the crushed garlic, chopped shallots, green peppercorns and crushed juniper berries. Pour over the glass of red wine and allow to marinade.

Line a pound loaf tin or similar shaped oven proof pie dish with streaky bacon. Take each rasher and stretch it with the back of a knife on the chopping board. Then line the dish so that each rasher covers the bottom and one side with the end hanging over the edge.

Take half the minced meat and fill the dish halfway. Sprinkle with chopped herbs. Cut the remaining 250 grams of chicken into strips and place down the centre together with 100 grams of chicken livers. Add more herbs and cover with the rest of the minced meat. Press down gently and wrap the bacon over the top. Decorate with lemon slices and a couple of bay leaves, cover with tin foil and place in a Bain Marie; a roasting tin half filled with hot water.

Place in a moderate oven for an hour and a half checking regularly and topping up water in the Bain Marie when necessary.

To be sure the meat is cooked pierce with a long skewer, if the juice is clear the terrine is cooked, if it is still pink, cook a little more.

When you are confident it is cooked take it out of the oven and lift carefully from the Bain Marie. Tip water out and return the cooked terrine to the dish. Put a heavy weight on the top. I use a brick and Granny’s old weights from her old fashioned kitchen scales, but improvise. The juices will overflow a little. When the whole is quite cool, refrigerate. Slice and serve with salad and new potatoes the next day.

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May 21 2007

Venison Sausages with “Francatelli’s” Sauce

Francatelli was Queen Victoria’s Chef but don’t let that put you off! Venison is a very healthy meat dense and rich in flavour but low in fat, good for those watching their cholesterol. It is important to keep the meat moist while cooking without adding extra fat and defeating the object! That’s where Francetelli comes in. Strictly speaking the sauce was made separately and served with the cooked venison but try it like this……….

500gms Venison sausages
2 shallots
1 tin chopped tomatoes
3 table spoons red wine
3 tablespoons red currant jelly
grated rind of lemon
small stick of cinnamon (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Chop the shallots finely. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add shallots and allow to soften but not brown, add the sausages and the tomatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally until the sausages are cooked through. Cut one in half to make sure. Add the wine, lemon zest, cinnamon and redcurrant jelly to the pan and give it a stir. Heat gently, taste, season, remove the cinnamon stick and serve with new potatoes and summer vegetables or a green salad.

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May 21 2007

Turkey Pudding !

Here is an OLD ENGLISH recipe which still survives in Sussex.

Line a deep pudding basin with suet crust pastry, pack tightly with pieces of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and gravy. Cover with a lid of the suet crust and steam as you would a steak and kidney pudding.

Dorothy Hartley ( Food in England: 1974) says a mushroom sauce goes very well with this.
Bonne Appetite!!

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May 21 2007

Tarragon Chicken For two….

Gently poach two chicken Supremes or chicken breasts in enough stock to just cover them. Add a little white wine and a few sprigs of fresh *French tarragon. Cook for about twenty minutes. Set chicken aside in a warm place (not a hot oven!!) while you make the sauce.

Strain the cooking juices through a sieve. Melt 1 oz of butter in a little pan, stir in a tablespoon of flour… the heat…..gradually add the strained juice stirring all the time to make a smooth mixture. Return to the heat and continue to stir until the sauce thickens. Cook two more minutes. Add a large spoonful of crème fraiche or cream. Warm gently, don’t boil!

Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve with the new potatoes, spinach and asparagus!

*You can use Russian Tarragon which grows more abundantly than its French cousin but the flavour is milder and a little bitter

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May 21 2007

Sautéd Chicken with Garlic and Herbs.

Fresh free range chicken
2 garlic cloves crushed with salt
2 chopped shallots
2 tbsp olive oil
large knob of butter
glass white wine
juice half lemon

Mixed chopped fresh herbs: parsley, thyme, a little sage and maybe a few wild garlic leaves in spring. In summer the mix will be different, maybe tarragon and lemon zest or basil, chives and marjoram. The herbs that flavour of the dish will reflect the season.

Cut the chicken into six or eight pieces, save the carcass*.

Melt the butter in a heavy based pan, one which has a close fitting lid, add the olive oil. Put the chicken pieces in the pan skin side down. Brown a little then lower the heat and turn the meat. Cover the pan and cook for 40 – 45 minutes turning again occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.

Now add the crushed garlic cloves and chopped shallot to the pan, stir in the wine scraping up all the residue with a wooden spoon, let it bubble, add lemon juice and half chopped herbs, taste and adjust the seasoning.

Put the chicken back into the pan, cover and cook a further five minutes.

Remove from the heat sprinkle with remaining herbs. Serve straight from the cooking pot with crusty bread and a green winter salad.

* Make chicken soup for tomorrow with the carcass!

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May 21 2007

Roast Turkey


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6

Remove giblets from inside turkey. First make a little stock with these for your gravy later. Next make the Stuffing for the bird.

STUFFING helps to keep the bird moist, it bastes from within. Older cookery books often suggest stuffing the turkey at each end; traditionally forcemeat one end and chestnut the other.

12 prunes soaked in red wine

grated rind half lemon

8oz peeled and cooked chestnuts

1oz butter

1 head celery chopped

2oz chopped onion

1dsp chopped mixed herbs

salt & pepper

1 small beaten egg

Simmer the prunes in the wine till tender, cool, stone and cut into four. Soften celery and onion in butter over a low heat, add prunes, herbs, salt and pepper, lemon rind, and chestnuts, broken into pieces. Stir lightly with a fork, allow to cool thoroughly before binding together with the beaten egg.

Fill the central cavity with a stuffing of your choice and weigh the turkey again.

To calculate cooking time allow 15 minutes per lb for a bird up to 14lb and 20-25 minutes for a larger bird.

Or…….how about this adapted version of a Traditional Italian stuffing  based on Orvieto Chicken…..

turkey giblets

1 lb potatoes

large  onion

30 garlic cloves unpeeled ..yes!

fennel bulb

8oz black olives

fresh sprig rosemary

lemon zest and juice

glass dry white wine

3 tbsp. virgin olive oil

Take the turkey giblets : first remove “oysters” of meat from  gizzard with a sharp knife then chop up together with the  heart and liver.

Dice peeled potatoes, fennel and onion.

Pull apart Garlic heads until you have about 30 cloves.

Crush 2 cloves of garlic.

Pit olives …..or better still…….buy them pitted!

Pull leaves of rosemary from the twig and chop  (please don’t bother with dried rosemary…!!)

Zest and juice the lemon

Melt the potatoes, fennel and onions in the  olive oil until just soft. Add the giblets and crushed garlic, then stir in the whole garlic cloves  ( don’t bother to peel!),  then the olives, fresh chopped rosemary, zest and juice of lemon, salt and pepper and the white wine.

Spoon all this mixture into the turkey….Delicious!


Melt a little butter and oil in the roasting tin and place the bird on its side on a rack in the tin. Spread it with more butter, or wrap in butter-soaked muslin. Add the giblets and a pint of water to the tin and cover the whole thing in tin foil. Keep the liver to fry and add to the gravy later. Place the bird in the centre of the hot oven.

A little before half time take the turkey out of the oven, turn it onto its other side, baste well with the pan juices and re -cover carefully.

Twenty minutes before the end of the cooking time remove the bird from the oven and turn breast up, baste again and sprinkle with salt and pepper and return to the hot oven to brown.

Test at the end of cooking time by sticking a long skewer into the thickest part of the thigh, if the juice is clear the turkey is cooked.

When cooked allow the bird to REST, covered in a warm place for about 20 minutes. This will make it much easier to carve.


To make the gravy first pour off excess fat from the roasting pan.

Deglase the tin with a little red wine and red currant jelly scraping up all the residue. Stir in a little stock made from the giblets. Mix a tablespoon of the reserved fat with a desert spoon of corn flour and return to the roasting pan Bring the gravy to the boil over a brisk heat stirring all the time until it is a rich syrupy consistency. Strain before serving. The sliced and lightly fried turkey liver may be added to the gravy after straining.

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May 21 2007


Rillettes de Lapin

This traditional rillettes recipe uses rabbit to replace some of the pork. Cook the rabbit slowly with garlic, herbs and pork belly, then drain off the fat, first pound, then pull apart the meat with two forks, pile into an earthenware dish and completely cover with the carefully strained fat. Cover with foil and store in the fridge. Eat with toast or crusty bread.

Sauce au Vin du Medoc

Rabbit is stewed so slowly in red wine with beef and pork in this old traditional country recipe that is almost becomes a sauce. Chop 6 shallots and brown them in dripping, add 3 large carrots cut into big pieces. Add one jointed rabbit, 1 ½ lbs each of stewing beef and pork, add garlic and herbs to taste.

Sprinkle with flour, stir and pour over a bottle of red wine. Add a little water and a square or two of plain chocolate. Simmer, “just murmuring”, for three hours. Let the dish cool completely. Leave in the fridge over night then simmer again the following day for a further two hours. Serve with plenty of bread and / or a mousseline of potatoes. (see Vegetables)

It is “la grosse cuisine de la campagne” and sounds the perfect dish for cold winter days not, I stress, in the heat wave of summer!

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