How about some Spring Chicken from the famous chef Nigella Lawson?
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 140 grams pancetta cubes or lardons or chopped bacon
- 12 chicken thighs (bone in, with or without skin)
- 1 leek (cleaned, quartered lengthwise then finely sliced)
- 1 stick celery (quartered lengthwise then finely sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes or 1/2 teaspoon pouring salt
- good grinding white pepper
- 500 ml dry cider
- 300 grams frozen petits pois
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 little gem lettuce (cut into strips or roughly shredded)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- Heat the oil in a large, wide casserole that comes with a lid (and can be taken to the table) and add the pancetta cubes (or lardons or bacon), cooking them until they begin to give off their juices and start to colour.
- Add the chicken thighs (skin-side down if yours have skin), tossing the pancetta cubes on top of the meat (to stop the pancetta burning and to make space) as you put the poultry in the pan, and cook for about 5 minutes over a medium heat.
- Turn the thighs over and tip in the prepared leek, celery and garlic. Season with the dried tarragon, salt and pepper, then stir everything around a bit, letting it cook for another 5 minutes.
- Pour in the cider, then sprinkle in the frozen peas. Bring the pan to a boil then cover, turn down to a very gentle heat and cook for 40 minutes. Do check after 30, though, to see if the chicken is cooked through, and if you are disobeying me and going boneless, then 20 minutes should do it.
- Remove the lid, stir in the mustard, and then toss the shredded lettuce over the chicken, letting it wilt in the hot sauce for a couple of minutes.
- Scatter the chopped tarragon over the casserole and take the steamily fragrant pot to the table with quiet pride.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE
The chicken, without lettuce, can be cooked 1 day ahead. Transfer to non-metallic bowl, then cool, cover and refrigerate as quickly as possible. To reheat, return to casserole dish, cover and reheat gently, for around 20 minutes, until chicken is piping hot all way through. Add a little water or chicken stock if pan becomes too dry. Add the lettuce and continue as directed in recipe.
Cook and cool the chicken as above, then freeze in airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in fridge and reheat as above.
(Nigella Lawson, 2014)