One good thing about cold weather is that I get to indulge in cooking all sorts of ‘slow’ meals. Made even more fabulous since I purchased a Chasseur French Oven in French Blue. I have learnt the hard way over the last 20 years that you really should spend as much as you are able on good quality cookware and avoid anything with non-stick coatings. Don’t think that I have the best of everything, I have the best that I can afford which is Scanpan Impact for my saucepans and fry pans and now my Chasseur French Oven.
Anyway, the recipe below is an old favourite and a good way of cooking older culls from your chicken run or even rabbit (also known as New England Subterranean Fowl). You can cook it either using a stove or slow cooker. If you are going to use a stove, start off with a heavy cast iron pot that can be used on the stove top and in the oven, with your slow cooker start off in a big fry pan on the stove top and then transfer to the slow cooker.
One Chook or Rabbit butchered into sections or 6 Chicken Thigh Fillets
2 Stalks of Celery Finely Diced
2 Carrots Finely Diced
1 Red Onion Finely Diced
200g Bacon Finely Diced
1/2 Cup White Wine – I tend to favour a good Pinot Grigio for cooking
1 litre Chicken Stock
A good handful of fresh Thyme or 2 tablespoons of dried Thyme
2 Bay Leaves – fresh or dried
2 tablespoons Plain Flour
A good shake of Salt*
A good shake of Pepper
A good pinch of Paprika
2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
Turn on your oven to preheat to 160 degrees Celsius.
On your stove top over a medium heat melt the butter, then add Bacon, Onion, Celery and Carrots, stir through and let them sweat down while you flour the meat.
Put the flour, salt*, pepper and paprika in a large plastic bag or in a large bowl, add meat and thoroughly cover in the flour mixture. Put aside until ready to cook.
Once the celery and onions have become transparent, place the Bacon, Onion, Celery and Carrot mixture into a heatproof bowl and set aside for a moment (or put direct into the slow cooker).
Add oil to the pot, allow to heat through and then add floured meat. Cook on each side to add colour to the meat.
Leaving the cooked meat in the pot add the 1/2 cup white wine to deglaze, ensure that you scrape all the ‘brownings’ from the bottom of the pan and sides. For a slow cooker then add the meat to the cooker
Add the Bacon, Onion, Celery and Carrots back into the pot along with the thyme and bay leaves, stir thoroughly and then add the Chicken Stock.
Bring to the boil, stir thoroughly, cover with the lid and pop it in the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours, stirring after the first hour.
You will be able to tell when it is cooked as the meat will fall off the bones or, in the case of the fillets, just fall apart when prodded with a fork.
Remove the meat from the pot and cover with foil, putting it aside to rest while you make the sauce.
Put the pot back on the stove top over a medium heat, add the mustard and stir whilst the sauce reduces and thickens.
Add the meat back into the sauce and serve over a mash of vegetables (my favourite being potato, sweet potato, pumpkin and parsnip) and enjoy.
* Salt. If you are using a commercial chicken stock it often has a lot of salt already in it, same with the bacon and so you can probably leave out the salt in the flour mix.