Pot-roast chicken with cider and apples

Serves: 4-6
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Pot-roast chicken with cider and applesIngredients:

A medium chicken, about 1.5kg (3lb 5oz)
1 lemon, quartered
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 onions, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
2 sprigs rosemary
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp plain flour
250ml (9floz) dry cider
250ml (9floz) chicken stock
2 large or 3 small apples, cored and cut into wedges
3 tbsp crème fraiche
A small bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped

To serve

Mashed potato or rice to serve
Lightly steamed green vegetables, such as broccoli, or spring greens

Method:

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/R6. Lay the chicken in a roasting tin and stuff the inside with the lemon quarters, squeezing them a little to release their juice as you do so. Drizzle over about a tablespoon of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, which should be enough time to lightly crisp up the skin.

2 While the chicken is roasting, add the rest of the olive oil to a large flameproof casserole dish. Gently sweat the onion, carrot and celery with the bay leaves and rosemary over a low heat until soft and light caramelized. Cooking slowly for around 30 minutes will give you a really sweet base to cook the chicken on, so take your time.

3 Once the onion and carrot are soft, add the garlic and fry for a further minute or so before stirring through the flour. Pour in the cider and stock and season with a little salt and pepper.

4 Remove the chicken from the oven and lower the heat to 180°C/R5. Carefully lift the chicken from the roasting tin and lay in the casserole on top of the vegetables. Pour on any roasting juices from the pan, cover with a tight fitting lid or snugly tucked piece of foil and put back in the oven for an hour.

5 Remove from the oven and tuck in the apple pieces, pressing under the liquid. Return to the oven, uncovered, and cook for 20 minutes or so until the apples are soft. Stir through the crème fraiche and scatter over the parsley.

Recipe and image courtesy of www.pinkladyapples.co.uk

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