This was a bit of a fridge dice meal - there was one solitary leek lurking after its companion s were long-ago eaten, a handful of sprigs of parsley and a similar handful of thyme cluttering the place up. And I'm also trying to clear out the freezer, where the remains of the chestnuts that we gathered, blanched and peeled for Christmas were looking reproachfully at me every time I opened the door. But they all came together in a rather delicious dinner.....
Ingredients (to serve 2)
2 large part-boned chicken breasts
1 tbs sunflower oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1 medium leek, washed and chopped
70g peeled chestnuts (if you use canned or vac-pac ones, they are already fully cooked, so don't add them until 5 minutes before serving)
a small handful each of parsley and thyme, finely chopped
250ml chicken stock
1 tsp cornflour, blended with a little of the stock
Pre heat the oven to 180 C, 350F (fan 160, gas mark 4). heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish and cook the chicken, skin side down, for about 5 minutes until well browned. Turn and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes, then remove and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and fry for a few minutes until starting to soften, then mix in the leeks, herbs, chestnuts, stock and cornflour mixture. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up (see photo above). Cover and place in the oven for 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
I served this with cabbage and a scalloped potato dish which is really an ultimate cheat but tastes delicious!
Slice 3 medium to large potatoes and arrange in a greased ovenproof dish. Whisk together a can of condensed mushroom soup and a can full of milk and pour over the potatoes. Sprinkle over a couple of tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, in a low oven 150 C, 300 F (130 C fan, gas mark 2) for 2 hours, covering with foil if the top browns too much. I cooked this below the chicken, moving it down to the very lowest shelf, and it was fine.
I'm sharing this (well, the chicken, not the potato!) with Cooking With Herbs at Lavender and Lovage - why not join in with your herby creations?