1½kg free range chicken, jointed
2 tbsp seasoned flour
1 glug of olive oil
12 baby onions
1 large carrot
2 sticks of celery
75g unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1 bay leaf
330ml Belgian blonde ale
2 white chicory heads, halved lengthways
1 pinch caster sugar
200ml chicken stock
200ml double cream
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
Dust the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour and brown thoroughly in a thick-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat with a good glug of olive oil.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables: peel the baby onions, leaving a little stalk on to keep them whole, peel and thickly slice the carrot and celery.
When the chicken is browned add half the butter, the onions, carrot, celery, garlic and bay leaf and cook for a further 3 mins.
Add the beer and allow this to reduce by half, scraping the sediment from the bottom of the pan. Place a lid or cover the pan tightly with foil and cook very gently for 15 mins.
Sprinkle the chicory halves with caster sugar, heat the remaining butter in a frying pan and over a medium heat fry them, cut side down, for 2-3 mins until they are a light golden colour. Flip over and cook on the reverse for 1 min, then add the chicken stock and simmer for 5 mins.
Preheat the oven to 140C. Transfer the chicken to a casserole dish, add the chicory, cream and buttery stock juices and cook for a further 30 mins until the chicken is very tender. Add the chopped parsley, check the seasoning and serve in a warmed dish with crusty bread to mop up the sauce, and a few chilled Belgian beers.
Recipe: Hayden Groves