A little jewel of French family cuisine. Again the success of this recipe depends very much on the quality of the ingredients. Try to choose free-range or organic chicken and also a good red wine vinegar, the best I’ve found was red wine cabernet sauvignon vinegar from Waitrose. The cooking time will depend entirely on the sourcing of the chicken, factory produced will take 15–20 minutes, free-range/organic 30–40 minutes.
Planning ahead: The dish can be prepared 1 day in advance and then reheated in the oven at 150°C.
For the chicken fricassee
40 ml goose or duck fat
1 x 2 kg whole chicken, cut into 12 pieces
4 pinches sea salt
2 pinches freshly ground black pepper
30 g unsalted butter
1 large onion, cut into 8 pieces through root
12 garlic cloves, peeled
160 g ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
4 tarragon sprigs
150 ml red wine vinegar, heated, reduced by half
150 ml dry white wine, heated, reduced by one-third
250 ml water or white chicken stock
For the caramelised garlic
60 ml extra virgin olive oil
180 g garlic cloves, blanched for 2 minutes, refreshed, peeled
50 ml warm water
60 ml eight-year-old balsamic vinegar
4 pinches salt
2 pinches crushed black pepper
For the green beans
100 ml water
30 g unsalted butter
2 pinches sea salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
250 g green beans, trimmed
chopped parsley, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat oven to 120°C. Heat the goose fat in a large ovenproof sauté pan over a medium heat. Cook the chicken pieces for 5 minutes each side, until golden brown. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Transfer the breast pieces to a plate and set aside.
Heat the butter in a separate saucepan over a medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic for 7 minutes, until lightly golden. Add the tomato and cook for 3 minutes, until broken down. Add the tarragon, vinegar, white wine and water or stock and bring to a simmer.
Pour mixture into sauté pan with chicken and season to taste. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 50 minutes. Add the chicken breast and cook for a further 10 minutes.
To make the caramelised garlic, heat the oil in a 15cm sauté pan over a medium heat. Cook the garlic, turning frequently, for 5 minutes, until golden brown all over. Add the water, vinegar, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes, until liquid is reduced to a thick caramel. Strain off excess oil and refrigerate caramelised garlic until needed.
To make the green beans, combine the water, butter, salt and pepper in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil. Add the beans and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 2–3 minutes, until tender. Season to taste.
Place the chicken and beans on a large serving platter or four serving plates. Scatter over parsley and caramelised garlic. Serve with sauce.
1 x 2.2kg chicken = 1.3kg prepped meat
1 portion = 1 drumstick or thigh + 1 breast piece + 1 wing piece = 300g raw weight
1 x 1.6kg chicken = 800g prepped meat
1 portion = 1 drumstick or thigh + 1 breast piece + 1 wing piece = 200g raw weight