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Chicken and onion pot roast

Chicken and onion pot roast

 

A celebration of onions in a simple dish. I love pot roasts, which are a meal in themselves, needing no other accompaniment than crusty bread.


Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: about 13/4 hours

Serves 4 to 6

  • 12 to 15 shallots, peeled but left whole

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 oven-ready chicken, about 1.8 kg (4 lb)

  • 2 large yellow onions and 2 red onions, quartered

  • 3 to 4 large thyme sprigs

  • 4 large strips pared lemon rind

  • Salt and black pepper

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz) chicken or vegetable stock

  • A few strands of saffron

  • 8 spring onions, finely chopped

  1. Cook the shallots in the oil in a heavy-based pan that is just large enough to take the chicken. Cook until browned on all sides, then scoop them from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  2. Add the chicken, brown quickly on all sides, then leave it in the pan, breast-side down. Press the quartered onions down the sides of the pan around it, with the thyme and lemon rind.

  3. Season the chicken well, then add the stock with the saffron strands mixed in well. Bring to a boil and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 45 minutes.

  4. Turn the chicken over, then nestle it back down amongst the onions. Add the shallots and cook slowly, covered, for a further 45 minutes, or until the chicken is done - the juices should run clear from the thigh when pierced with a skewer.

  5. Carefully draining any juices from the body cavity, transfer the chicken to a warm plate and leave it to rest for 10 minutes.

  6. Add the spring onions to the sauce and boil briefly to reduce the quantity of liquid. Season to taste.
    Carve the chicken and serve with the onions and juices spooned over.

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