I don’t have the income to buy organic chicken but I do buy free range pollo rural or pollo de corral which is yellow skinned to depict that it is cereal (corn) fed or it could just be that turmeric has been added to its diet. Hopefully, my chicken had a little more room to live and breathe than caged hens. Who knows?
Anyway, I usually buy a chicken that I joint and freeze. Over weeks I accumulate wings as well as a few legs and breasts. The wing tips and carcass make a stock then the excess fat, skin and trimmings are cooked up for my dogs. Retain the rendered fat. Everyone is happy.
However, for reasons unknown, I decided to keep the two breasts as a crown. And tonight is a chicken feast for one. Although I am talking two breasts this particular bird wasn’t that big and it is going to be a one pan with potatoes and vegetables.
Meanwhile, I made a stock and reduced it together with tomato purée and Dijon mustard. Now I have a thick-ish gravy.
It’s really easy. Set the oven to 180°C fan.
Chop part of a leek, carrot and stick of celery to make a bed in the pan. Drizzle with chicken fat, add a bay leaf and a good grind of black pepper.
Sauté some lardons, finely chopped celery, shallots, garlic and parsley stalks in chicken fat. Add a little chilli and black pepper. Lastly, mix in some breadcrumbs. When cooled, stuff under the skin of the chicken.
With a little chicken fat mix paprika, white pepper and a sprinkle of dried herbs of choice then brush over the crown. Place the crown over the chopped vegetables and surround with large pieces of leek and quartered skin on potatoes. Brush the leeks and potatoes with olive oil. Cover the pan with foil.
Place the pan in the oven for one hour.
After one hour remove the foil from the pan and cook for another 30 minutes.
Reheat the gravy and pour into your granny’s old gravy boat. Have some fresh parsley chopped and ready to sprinkle, plate up and you’re good to go.
This is not a tip but if you happen to have some sourdough bread, left over gravy then fill your boots with a slice or two of bread and gravy. It is better than a dessert. I promise.