Braised Chicken with Green Olives, Almonds & Witlof

Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Servings 4-6


1 large chicken, jointed

150g green olives

Plain flour for dusting

1 tbsp vegetable oil

100g smoked pancetta diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery sticks diced

2 brown onions peeled and diced

5 cloves garlic, peeled and shaved on a mandolin

2 sprigs thyme

2 sprigs tarragon

1 bay leaf

500ml chicken stock

1 tbsp grain mustard

300ml dry white wine

3 heads witlof split (endive)

1 tbsp sugar

250g whole, peeled toasted almonds


Preheat oven to 150C, flour and season the chicken pieces.

In a heavy-based pan heat the vegetable oil, seal the chicken pieces off so they are golden all over.

Remove the chicken from the pan and gently fry the garlic, add the diced pancetta and sauté before adding the vegetables and a good pinch of salt, sweat these off gently with no colour.

Pour over the white wine and reduce by two thirds, add the stock and the herbs and bring to the simmer, add the green olives and chicken to the pan, cover with a lid and gently bake in the oven until tender, about 1-1.5 hours, remove from the oven and rest meat in the pan.

Place a frying pan on the stove, add 50ml olive oil and once hot add the endive to the pan cut side down and caramelise nicely before turning and repeating the process. Strain off the excess fat and add a ladle of the chicken cooking juice, sprinkling of sugar and a knob of butter to glaze the endive in the pan so it becomes shiny, rich and takes on some characters from the chicken stock.

Remove the chicken from the pan and place aside to rest.

Bring the sauce back up the simmer, add grain mustard and picked tarragon and check seasoning adding lemon juice if needed.

Some couscous would work well with this dish or a classic pommes boulangere rich with onions and thyme.


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