“People might be surprised that I use chicken stock cubes if I’m cooking a quick meal and want to add flavour”
-Chef-Patron, Michael Caines MBE, interviewed in The Sunday Times
This is a fresh but homely casserole which heats up well. It also works well with pheasant, or with guinea fowl.
I usually also add a tablespoon of Liberty Fields apple balsamic vinegar which gives a bit of pep!
You can cook this ahead of time, and reheat.
For those chefs among you who might be a bit sniffy about using chicken stock cubes – note Michael Caines’ comment above. In 2017 he opened Lympstone Manor Hotel in Devon, and six months later it gained its first Michelin star…he knows a thing or two.
Serve with mashed potato.
Recipe for Comfortable Chicken with Apple and Cider
- 4 chicken breasts with skin on
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 fat clove of garlic, crushed
- vegetable oil for frying
- 200g/7 oz bacon lardons (ideally not smoked)
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 160 ml/⅔ cup dry cider
- 320 ml/1⅓ cup chicken stock made with two chicken stock cubes
- 2 green apples
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Indonesian long pepper
- Heat up some vegetable oil (I prefer to use rapeseed as I think it gives a slightly ‘cleaner’ taste) in a large oven and hob-proof casserole or saucepan.
- Add the chicken and brown until golden
- Peel and core the apple and slice it thickly
- Push to one edge of the pan (or take out), reduce the heat and fry the onion until its soft and transparent, add the garlic in the last couple of minutes.
- Sieve over the flour (well, you could save the washing up and sprinkle with your fingers…) and cook for a minute or two to get it to bind with the fat in the pan.
- Add the cider and stock, one ladle at a time, stirring to mix in the floured onion and break up lumps.
- Add the thyme, bay leaves, pepper and apple slices to the casserole, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer, or put in the simmering oven for half an hour.