Chicken with Bacon, Lettuce and Peas
This is a variation on one of the gentlest of French dishes, the classic poulet à la Clamart. I once made this with a jar of artichoke hearts in place of the lettuce, which was quite wonderful. Keeping a jar or can of these to hand makes this dish a good standby, as it means almost all the ingredients can be gleaned from the storecupboard or freezer.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 100g bacon lardons
- 6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 5mm-thick slice of unsalted butter
- 2 leeks, cut into rounds
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1 sprig of tarragon
- 3 Little Gems, halved (try to make sure the leaves are still attached to the stem)
- 100ml white wine
- 200ml chicken stock
- 200g petits pois
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 50ml single cream
Heat the oil in a large, shallow casserole or lidded frying pan. Add the bacon and fry briskly until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon, then add the chicken. Fry until crisp and golden brown; this will take up to 10 minutes. Set aside with the bacon.
Drain off any excess fat from the pan and add the butter. When the butter starts to foam, add the leeks, garlic, tarragon and the Little Gems, cut-sides down. Leave for a couple of minutes without stirring, then pour over the wine. The wine will bubble up; when it does so, cover and leave the leeks and lettuce to braise in the buttery juices for five minutes.
Add the stock and peas to the pan, then season with salt and pepper. Return the bacon and chicken, making sure the chicken pieces are skin-side up. Half-cover and simmer over a low heat until the vegetables and chicken are tender and cooked through (about 30 minutes). Stir in the cream and simmer for a few more minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened. This is good served with mashed or sautéed potatoes.