It started with Everybody Loves Ramen's version of Nigel Slater's Chicken Stew with Borlotti Beans. I went out, bought the ingredients. Cooking time was at hand. Then I had a closer look at the instructions. Marinate for 4 hours or overnight? I hadn't planned for that. Add 1 litre of water, balsamic vinegar, and cook for 2 hours? But these Burrawong Chicken Marylands are fresh!
So I made some changes on the fly. Switched to a roast, with the cooking juices drizzling down into the leek and borlotti beans. Less effort, and the results were spectacular.
Roast Chicken with Leek and Borlotti Beans
Detective Chow's version
- 2 chicken marylands
- 1 tin borlotti beans (drained and rinsed)
- balsamic vinegar
- 4 whole garlic cloves (peeled)
- fresh thyme and oregano
- orange zest
- 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
- olive oil
- 2 potatoes (for mashing)
1. Put the borlotti beans in a casserole dish with a lid. Tie the herbs into two bouquet garni*; place one on top of the beans. Throw in some orange zest.
* A bouquet garni is a bundle of herbs tied together with string. Tying them up makes it easier to remove them in one go, so you can scoop up the beans and juices without needing to fish out bits of stalk.
2. Heat a dash of olive oil in a frypan, on low heat. Fry leaks until soft. Transfer leaks to the casserole dish.
3. Pat the chicken with paper towel to remove moisture, then fry both sides until browned. (Add a little more oil to the pan if required.) When browned, add the chicken to the top of the pile.
4. Toss in the garlic cloves, second bouquet garni, salt and pepper, a dash of balsamic vinegar and the orange zest.
5. Cover and bake for 25 minutes at 200C, then remove the lid and bake a further 30-40 minutes (depending on size).
6. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes. (You can cut them into smaller pieces to cook faster.) When soft mash them with some olive oil, butter, or cream (and a dash of truffle oil, if you like).
7. Serve in a pile on warmed plates: mash, leeks and beans on the bottom with the chicken Maryland on top, and some greens if you so desire. Drizzle the juices into gaps.