Preheat the oven to 180ºC. I used a whole free range chicken and cut it into 8 pieces, rather than 2 whole baby chickens as Jamie's recipe calls for. Keep the skin on all the pieces. It really pays off!
In a snug-fitting casserole-type pan, fry your chicken pieces in a little olive oil on all sides for 10 minutes until golden. I used a non stick pan and very little oil. Remove them to a plate and then gently saute the onion, garlic and celery in the pan. Add the spare flour and continue to saute for about 4 minutes, scraping off any goodness that is on the bottom of the pan. You can add a little chicken stock if it starts to stick but not too much at this stage. Add your 2 glasses of white wine and allow the liquid to reduce by half, then put the chicken pieces back in the pan. Now pour in your stock – it should come to about half-way up the chickens. Make yourself a cartouche ( a simple circle of baking paper that you put on top of a sauce or gravy to stop a skin forming.) Wet it so it's flexible then tuck this in and around the pan.
Place in the oven and cook for around 50 minutes to an hour until the chickens have crisp skin and the thigh meat falls off the bone. Remove the chicken to some nice serving bowls – ones that can hold a bit of sauce – and place your pan back on the hob. Add the lettuces, grapes, parsley leaves and tarragon leaves and simmer for a couple more minutes. Correct the seasoning carefully and spoon this sauce next to the chicken.
I served the chicken on a bed of quinoa. This simple dish is so full of flavour it is amazing. If you wanted to use chicken breast pieces instead of the whole chicken it would definitely work. I would just reduce the cooking time to 35-40 minutes.
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 good quality free range chicken cut into 8 pieces
- 1 small handful of fresh parsley, leaves picked, stalks kept
- 1 bunch of fresh tarragon, leaves picked, stalks kept
- 4 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
- 2 heaped tablespoons plain white flour
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 white onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- ½ celery heart, trimmed back and finely sliced
- 2 good knobs of butter
- 2 wineglasses of crisp white wine
- 565ml stock
- 2 gem lettuces, sliced into large chunks
- 1 small bunch of seedless grapes, washed and halved
- quinoa cooked according to packet instructions