Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bourride of chicken thickened with garlic mayonnaise

Serves 4

Country cooking as it should be, a proper chicken, cooked properly. But this one is finished slightly unusually with mayonnaise as the thickener. Timing is key here and patience being the ultimate virtue - don't try to finish the sauce when the broth is too hot. Chicken just adores both garlic and saffron, and I struggle to do many chicken dishes at the moment without one or the other.

1 x 2kg chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 shallots, peeled
1 leek, trimmed
150 ml white wine
1 pinch saffron

Garlic mayonnaise
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 egg yolks
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp white wine vinegar
130 ml olive oil

Crush the garlic. The best way to do this is to sprinkle a little salt on each clove, then press it with the flat of the blade of a heavy knife, which turns it quickly to pulp.

Whisk the egg yolks, garlic, mustard, vinegar and a little salt and pepper together. Gradually whisk in both of the oils.

Use a heavy ovenproof casserole or pot, preferably cast-iron, which will hold the whole chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and put it in the chosen pot.

Add the shallots and leek to the pot. Pour on the white wine, the pinch of saffron and add a pint (600 ml) of cold water.

Bring to the boil. Cover tightly, put the pot into a moderately hot oven 190Âșc/gas mark5 and cook for about 45 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the liquor and carve it into eight pieces – two thighs, two drumsticks and four half breasts.

Whisk the garlic mayonnaise into the cooking liquor. You cannot re-boil the sauce after this or it will separate.

Put the chicken pieces on to a serving dish and strain the thickened cooking liquor over them. It is best eaten from large soup bowls with wild rice pilaff.