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Drunken Chicken

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
1.5 kg (3 lb) fresh chicken
1 cm (1/2 in) fresh ginger, scraped and sliced
2 spring onions
1.5 litre (3 pt) water or to cover
5 g (1 tsp) salt
300 ml (1/2 pt) dry sherry brandy (optional)
spring onion curls to garnish

method

1. Wipe the chicken inside and out.

2. Place the ginger and spring onion in the body cavity.

3. Set the chicken in a large pan or flameproof casserole and cover with water.

4. Bring to the boil, skim and cook for 15 minutes.

5. Turn off the heat and allow the chicken to stay in the cooking liquid for 3 - 4 hours, by which time it will be cooked. Lift out and drain well.

6. Reserve 300 ml (1/2 pt) of the stock. Cool and skim.

7. First of all remove the leg joints — divide each into a drumstick and thigh.

8. Now cut away the wings to include some of the breast. Cut away the breast still on the bone and divide it into two pieces.

9. Arrange these chicken portions in a shallow glass or glazed dish (only use enamel if it is unchipped).

10. Rub salt into the skin of the chicken, leave for several hours or overnight.

11. Next day mix the sherry and a few tablespoons of brandy, if you like, with an equal amount of chicken stock and pour over the chicken pieces.

12. Cover with cling film or a lid and leave in a refrigerator or cool place for at least 2 or 3 days; turn over occasionally.

13. When ready to serve, cut into chunky pieces through the bone and arrange on a serving platter garnished with spring onion curls.

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