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This hearty, saucy dish is delicious in the winter, served with root vegetables and rice or mashed potatoes, or in the summer, with green vegetables and tossed over pasta. Any mustard will do for this – I keep English in the fridge, but wholegrain or any other sort will work fine. Use this recipe as a base, and adapt as you wish.
4 tablespoons oil (vegetable or sunflower will do)
4 chicken thigh fillets
1 large onion (approx 150g)
1 large carrot (approx 100g)
1 teaspoon English mustard
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
a handful of fresh parsley
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
200ml natural yoghurt or double cream if you prefer
Heat the oil in a medium-sized non-stick saucepan and put in the chicken. If using thighs, drumsticks or breasts with skin on, place them in skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes on each side on a medium heat to seal. If using bacon, chop it into 1cm chunks and toss into the pot with the chicken.
Peel and chop the onion and wash and slice the carrot, and add to the pan. If using tinned carrots, simply drain and tip in. Stir the mustard into the stock and pour into the pan to cover the vegetables and half-cover the chicken. Finely chop the parsley and thyme and add to the pot. Cover with a lid and cook for 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken and stir the cream into the sauce in the pan. Boil rapidly for a few minutes to thicken the sauce. If you’ve got yoghurt rather than cream then add it off the heat after reducing the sauce – adding it on the heat means it will split and curdle. Still perfectly edible, just doesn’t look so great. If you’re nervous about splitting the sauce (or a novice cook), pour the yoghurt into a bowl and add a few teaspoons of the hot sauce to the yoghurt. Stir well, and repeat, until the yoghurt-sauce-mixture is a warm temperature, then tip the lot over the chicken and stir through.
Tips: green beans make a great addition to this dish – in fact, chuck in any vegetables that are kicking around. As a rule of thumb, add root veg shortly after browning the chicken and add small veg like peas, shredded greens or green beans 5 minutes before serving. For a vegetarian version, just leave out the chicken and put in more veg as required.