Farmhouse chicken by Darina Allen - 'a favourite family supper in our house'
Cook up some warming dinners with recipes from Darina Allen’s new compendium of the best of her tried-and-tested Simply Delicious dishes.
A whole meal in a dish, this was, and still is, a favourite family supper in our house. I often serve it in the big black roasting tin, on the table, family-style.
1.575kg organic, free-range chicken
560g fat streaky bacon in one piece
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Seasoned plain flour
400g onions, finely sliced or chopped
340g carrots, cut into 1cm slices
Approx 2.3kg large 'old' potatoes, such as Golden Wonders or Kerr's Pinks
1.1 litres homemade chicken stock, boiling
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley, to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 230°C/gas mark 8.
2. Joint the chicken into 8 pieces; separate the wing joints so they will cook evenly. Cut the rind off the bacon and cut 225g into lardons and the remainder into 5mm-thick slices. If salty, blanch, refresh and dry on kitchen paper. Set the slices aside.
3. Heat the oil in a wide frying pan and cook the lardons until the fat begins to run and they are pale golden; transfer to a plate. Toss the chicken joints in the seasoned flour, sauté in the bacon fat and oil until golden on both sides, remove from the pan and put with the bacon. Finally toss the onions and carrots in the bacon fat for 1-2 minutes.
4. Peel the potatoes and slice a little less than half into 5mm rounds. Arrange a layer of potato slices on the bottom of a deep 38cm square roasting tin. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Top with a layer of seasoned chicken joints. Cut the remaining potatoes into 4cm-thick slices lengthways and arrange cut-side up on top of the chicken (the whole top of the dish should be covered with potato slices). Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour the boiling chicken stock into the roasting tin.
5. Bake for about 1 hour. After 30 minutes of cooking, top with the slices of bacon so they get deliciously crisp with the potatoes. Test after 1 hour - it may take a little longer. Cover loosely with parchment paper near the end of cooking if the top is getting too brown. The vegetables will have absorbed much of the stock, but the dish should still be moist and juicy underneath the crisp potatoes and bacon slices on top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Simply Delicious The Classic Collection: 100 Recipes From Soups & Starters To Puddings & Pies by Darina Allen, published by Kyle Books in hardback at €27. Photography by Peter Cassidy