Chicken en casserole
The photograph does not do this justice so please trust me in saying that it is very good, and this is the dish I will cook again and again. I think perhaps the addition of mace is what made it so good.
In the words of Granny Dot:
‘A chicken, pheasant or rabbit; 4 rashers of bacon; parsley, lemon peel, 2 cloves, 8 peppercorns tied together in muslin; 1 onion; 1/2 pint water; a pinch of mace; salt and pepper; a dessertspoonful of glaze or a little browning.
The chicken may be cooked whole if the casserole is sufficintly large, but in that case it needs to be served on antoher dish, as it would be inconvenient to carve it in the high sided casserole. For that reason it is preferable to divide the bird. Cut it into neat joints. Cut the rashers of bacon into dice and place in the casserole. When the fat melts, put in the chicken, the finely minced onion, and cook till just coloured. Then add the water and bag of herbs. Cover the casserole and cook slowly in the oven for 1 1/2 to 3 hours, according to the age of the bird. Remove the muslin of herbs. Stir into the gravy a spoonful of glaze or a few drops of brownig. If liked, a little sherry may be added.’
255g/9oz bacon pieces
1 onion finely chopped
1 free range or organic chicken, portioned
a bouquet garni containing 2 cloves, 1/2 tsp powdered mace, 1 generous sprig of parsley, 3 peels of lemon. (cut a square of muslin, put the contents in and tie with string)
1/2 pint/284mls water
1. Put the bacon in a heavy based casserole and fry until fat comes out, adding a little butter if necessary.
2. Add the finely chopped onion and cook until glossy.
3. Season the chicken portions and add fry them in the pan until golden, adding more butter to do so if necessary.
4. Top with the bouquet garni and water and put the lid on for an hour and a half for the sized chicken above, more or less according to the size of the bird, and place the casserole in the oven.
5. Remove from the oven when the meat easily falls from the bone.
6. Serve with perhaps mashed potato and sprouting brocoli.