Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Spring chicken.

Although it is the summer and the title of the recipe is "spring chicken" I could not resist but try out another Nigella Kitchen recipe. I have banged on before how I much I love her kitchen book, and after having 6 out of her 8 books, her kitchen book is very much my favourite. I have seen this spring chicken recipe, which is based on a traditional rabbit recipe, cooked by fellow bloggers. This recipe has had mixed reviews, mainly for the cider use in the chicken and the runny sauce. However, for me to judge, I would have to make the recipe for myself. I was unsure whether to have rice or new potatoes with this meal, I decided to have toast with the chicken, unconventional but perfect to mop up the sauce.
Here is how my spring chicken turned out:
Spring chicken with toast
Yes, the unbuttered toast does look a bit odd, but I think it worked well. In order to make this dish, I first seasoned the chicken thighs with 1 tablespoon of all purpose seasoning, paprika, black pepper and mixed herbs. Many recipes state "season with salt and pepper", I really think food needs a bit more seasoning that, to give the dish more flavour.
Seasoned chicken thighs.
I then added the pancetta cubes, garlic and spring onions and let this browned for 10 minutes.
Spring chicken cooking.
I then added the cider, I just brought the first cider I saw in Asda, I really didn't have a clue which cider to buy, but I think I made a good choice.
After I added the cider, I let everything cook for around 40 minutes.

This was an unusual meal, I would have never have cooked with cider before stumbling this recipe. The chicken had a slightly sweet texture, and I think the sauce was too runny, although these are things that could easily rectified if I cook this again.
Recipe for Spring Chicken from Nigella's Kitchen cook book.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
140g pancetta cubes or streaky bacon chopped into pieces
12 chicken thighs
1 leek, cleaned and quartered
1 stick celery, quarterd lengthwise and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons tarragon
1 teaspoon of salt
500ml bottle of dry alcoholic cider
300g of frozen peas
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 cups of romaine lettuce shredded (or 2 little gem shredded)


Heat the oil in a large, wide casserole that has a lid. Add the pancetta cubes and cook until they give off juices and become coloured. Add chicken thighs (skin side down) tossing the pancetta over the meat and cook for about 5 min over medium heat.
Turn the thighs over and tip in the prepared leek, celery and garlic. season with salt and pepper and tarragon, stir everything around, and let cook for another 5 min
Pour in the cider, then sprinkle in the frozen peas. bring the pan to the boil then cover and turn down to a very gentle heat and cook for 40min. After around thirty minutes check whether the chicken is cooked.
When the chicken is cooked remove the lid, stir in the mustard, then toss in the shredded lettuce over the chicken, letting it wilt in the hot sauce for a couple of minutes.




  1. I love this recipe and eat it all year round.... cider in any savoury food is GOOD by me!... lovely stuff!

  2. fabulous dish - I just love the flavors - I love Nigella too -
    Mary x


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