I love having dinner with my parents. Weird? Maybe, but family, wine and delicious food are some of my favourite things in the world so a combination of them is a winner in my book.
They are coming after work and because I won’t get home until after 5, what I cook needs to be fairly quick so that I can spend time with my guests. The recipe below is an adaptation of something my Mum used to make when we were younger. I’m using the apples that our neighbours gave us last week from the lovely tree in their garden. It makes me so happy to use local product but fantastic home-grown produce is even better! If you don’t like the idea of fruit in savoury dishes (as a few of our friends don’t) you can omit it, but it really adds great depth to the cider flavour of the dish.
The quantities below serve 4 people.
3 large chicken breasts cut into slices
2 slices of bacon cut into small dices or lardons
2 sliced shallots
Chicken stock pot or cube
1tsp of mustard – wholegrain or dijon
Sour cream/cream/crème fraiche (if you want to make the sauce a little creamy
6 medium size potatoes
2 tbsps of Olive oil
- Mix 1 tbsp of plain flour with 1 tsp of mustard powder and black pepper. Toss the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour.
- Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and brown the meat. Then remove from the pan.
- Fry the bacon in the chicken pan and once brown and crispy add the sliced shallots to the pan.
- Return the chicken to the pan, sprinkle in the thyme leaves, crush in the garlic, the stock pot 1 tsp of mustard add 2/3rds of a bottle of cider. Simmer on a low heat for 15 mins – do not boil as this will make the meat tough.
- Whilst your chicken simmers gently, boil the potatoes with ½ a tsp of mustard powder and some thyme leaves. A friend once told me not to add salt when you boil potatoes for mash as it can give them a gluey texture. Add it after you mash it.
- Once soft, mash or blitz until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil, black pepper and salt to taste. If you like mustard, you can add some extra mustard into your mash but my mum isn’t a fan so I don’t.
- Finally add a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream to your chicken sauce, a sprinkle of thyme leaves and serve with buttery cabbage, broccoli or green beans. Any seasonal green veg works beautifully with this rich, sumptuous dish. Enjoy!