Braised chicken, shallots & lemon with sautéed potatoes & thyme recipe image

Print Braised chicken, shallots & lemon with sautéed potatoes & thyme

Most of your prep time in this recipe will be peeling the shallots. A sharp knife and a bit of patience is required. Cut the very tip off and use the knife to help peel the skin back to the root end. When cooked, the shallots should collapse down into sweet, soft, golden orbs. You want most of the liquid to be absorbed or evaporate by the end but not so much that the shallots catch and burn in the pan.

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 chicken legs
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Good sprigs
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 500g shallots
  • ½ stock cube
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 600g potatoes
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Season the chicken legs well on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a dash of oil in the casserole or frying pan and fry the chicken over a medium heat until golden brown on all sides. While the chicken browns, peel the shallots. Use a peeler to pull 3-4 long strips of zest from the lemon. Juice the lemon. Give the garlic cloves a couple of firm smacks to split them open.
  2. Put a kettle of water on to boil. Remove the chicken from the pan, keep to one side. Add the shallots, fry for 5 minutes on a medium-high heat, rolling and stirring until starting to colour all over. While they fry, crumble half of the stock cube into 250ml of water from the kettle, stir until dissolved. Add the butter and sugar to the shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes longer, until the butter foams and starts to darken slightly.
  3. Now add the wine, bay, stock, garlic cloves, a couple of thyme sprigs and a pinch of pepper. Bring to a simmer, sit the chicken on top of the shallots, pop on
  4. the lid and cook on a low heat for about 40 minutes, adding a dash of water if it starts to dry out. Alternatively pop it into an oven at 180˚C/Gas Mark 4, for the same time.
  5. Meanwhile, wash your spuds and chop them into a nice, even 2cm dice. Pop them in a pan and cover with cold water. Season the water well with salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes until partly cooked. Drain the spuds and heat a dash oil in the other frying pan. Put the potatoes in the pan and sauté them for about 10-15 minutes, until browned and cooked through.
  6. Season the potatoes with a little salt, pepper and a few fresh thyme leaves, stripped from the stalk. Adjust the seasoning for the shallots and tweak with a dash or two of lemon juice, if needed. Serve together with the liquid from the shallots spooned over. Remove the garlic skins, lemon zest and thyme as you eat.

Cooks notes

It always makes sense to salt any water you boil potatoes in. They soak up the seasoning as they cook.
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