A decadent last supper before you start that New Year diet
Indulge yourself this weekend in a modern approach to French cooking with this Smoked Chicken, Courgette, Garlic and Rosemary Casserole from Daniel Galmiche’s Revolutionary French Cooking.
Smoked Chicken, Courgette, Garlic and Rosemary Casserole
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 50 minutes
100g/3 1/2 oz/ 1/2 cup basmati rice
2 tbsp green tea
2 tsp caster sugar
4 chicken legs, with thighs and drumsticks separated
20g/ 3/4 oz unsalted butter
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp olive oil
400g/14oz courgettes, cut in half lengthways, then cut into 2.5cm/1in pieces
12 garlic cloves, unpeeled
4 tbsp sherry vinegar
500ml/17fl oz/2 cups Chicken Stock
1 rosemary sprig
1 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A steamer works perfectly as a smoker so, if you have one, do give this recipe a try. You put the smoking mix in the bottom and the chicken in the top, but do keep it on a low heat – you don’t want your smoke alarm to go off, so take it easy and don’t get too excited! The green tea will bring a lovely flavour to the chicken, which will infuse into the courgettes. It’s almost as if you’d grilled the courgettes as it recalls that wonderful, smoky scent.
- Put a large piece of kitchen foil, shiny-side down, in the bottom of a steamer, then put the rice, tea and sugar on the foil, cover with a steamer insert and lid and put over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the mixture starts smoking. Quickly lift the lid and put all the chicken inside. Put the lid back on, turn the heat down to low and smoke for 5 minutes. Lift out the chicken and put on a plate to rest, wrapping the smoking ingredients in the foil and discarding them as quickly as you can.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Put a flameproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the butter and sunflower oil and when the butter is foaming, add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook for 6–8 minutes until golden brown all over, turning occasionally. Remove from the pan and put in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest.
- Discard the oil from the casserole dish and lightly wipe the excess away with kitchen paper, taking care not to disturb the sediment. Return the dish to a medium-low heat, add the olive oil, courgettes and garlic and cook gently for 4–5 minutes until coloured but only just tender.
- Move the courgettes to the sides of the pan and put the chicken pieces in the centre to reheat. Turn the heat up to medium and when you can actually hear the food starting to cook, add the sherry vinegar straight away; it should evaporate immediately. Quickly pour the stock over the top and throw in the rosemary sprig. When the stock comes to a simmer, gently wriggle the pan around a little so that nothing is stuck to the bottom, then put the lid on top without closing it completely – you just want a little gap so that condensation doesn’t create too much liquid, but not too large so that the liquid evaporates. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove the lid and discard the rosemary. Turn the heat to high and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring to remove any caramelised bits stuck to the bottom, until the sauce is shiny and just thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Add the chopped rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve hot. Guests can squeeze the garlic out of the skins into the dish.
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