Chicken is always a good choice for entertaining because it is so versatile and most people like it. Slowly cooked in white wine and given lots of flavour with garlic, herbs and bacon, it makes an ideal dinner party dish that is also quick and easy to prepare.
100 g (4 oz) lean bacon, rinded and diced
450 g (1 lb) button onions, skinned
225 g (8 oz) button mushrooms
6 chicken quarters, halved
50 g (2 oz) plain flour
salt and pepper
25 g (1 oz) butter
30 ml (2 tbsp) vegetable oil
300 ml (1/2 pint) dry white wine
300 ml (1/2 pint) chicken stock
1 garlic clove, skinned and crushed
sprigs of fresh thyme or 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) dried
2 bay leaves
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
1. Fry the bacon in its own fat in a large frying pan until beginning to brown. Add the onions and fry until browned, then add the mushrooms and fry for 2 minutes. Transfer the bacon and vegetables to a flameproof casserole with a slotted spoon.
2. Coat the chicken joints with the flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and the oil in the frying pan, add the chicken and fry until browned all over. Transfer the chicken to the casserole.
3. Gradually stir the white wine into the frying pan. Bring to the boil, scraping any sediment from the bottom of the pan, then pour over the chicken joints in the casserole.
4. Add the chicken stock, garlic herbs and seasoning to taste to the frying pan. Bring to the boil, then pour over the chicken.
5. Cover and cook in the oven at 170°C (325°F) mark
3 for 1 hour or until the chicken is tender. Skim any fat from the cooking liquid. Garnish with chopped parsley.
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