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Granny Bruce’s Chicken!

Granny Bruce’s Chicken

Hello one and all! Well I’m down in Winchester, my home town. I’m down here for the next 9 days house sitting for my best mates parents, Paul and Alison. The house it right out in the countryside just outside Winchester.

The main reason I’m down here is to look after Alfie. He’s a well cute 10 week old
border terrier puppy, who’s best friend is a brush.

       

My first day here was greeted by a great dinner on the first night. Steak and Chips. The steak was amazing. It was from Beechcroft Farm Shop just up the road. They sell all their own meat and vege, it gets slaughtered at a local abattoir and butchered expertly by Rachel the owner of the shop. They opened about 2 years ago, It is an amazing place. The beef was so tasty and their pork and lamb is equally good. It’s really great to have somewhere like that so close. It’s the kind of place you walk into and you just want to buy everything and cook for about 3 days non stop!

Right so onto my dinner tonight. We got an amazing large free range chicken from Beechcroft Farm Shop and Alison knocked up this amazing dish. It’s so simple and I really think anyone could do this. You can serve any kind of vege with it, depends what you like. I think it’s based on a dish called French Chicken but in Paul and Alisons house it’s known as Granny’s Chicken as this is a dish she loves to cook….and eat! Needless to say she was here for dinner tonight :0)

This will feed 4-6 people and you will need:

1 medium to large Chicken free range please.
6 medium onions red or brown depending on preference. Just peel them, cut the top and bottom off and cut in half.
Garlic 6 cloves peeled and smashed with the side of your knife. If you don’t like to do this becasue you’re afraid of the knife then smash it with the heel of your hand (like a ninja!) (although a ninja wouldn’t be afraid of a knife)
Thyme
Sage
potatoes king edwards or desiree are good with this. Just peel and cut into quarters or half depending on size
Streaky bacon unsmoked about 250 -300 grams. cut into one inch slices
Salt maldon salt if you can get it.
pepper proper stuff please. The pre ground stuff just lacks so much flavour.
Vege of your choice
Butter
Extra virgin olive oil

1. ok so for this you will need a large pan that can go in the oven with a lid. Something like a large cast iron dish would be perfect for this. If you don’t have this then either use a large deep metal saucepan that will fit a chicken or use a deep oven roasting tray and tin foil. Now in a deep saucepan add the potatoes rinse then add water and bring to the boil and give it 3-4 mins on full boil then drain.

2. Now, in the dish you’re going to cook the chicken in put a good lug of olive oil and about 50 grams of butter. Put on a medium heat and add the garlic, stir for one min, now place the chicken in the pan and season with salt and pepper. Now get your streaky bacon and lay it on top and around the chicken.

3. Now get the potaotes and put them around the chicken and do the same with the halves of onion. Grab the sage and either with scissors or a knife cut up roughly and put around the chicken. Grab the thyme and chuck a few sprigs here and there. Now Chuck on the lid and put in the oven on about 200 for 30 mins then turn the heat down to 150-160 and cook for a further hour and a half. Every 30 mins or so get out the oven and try and baste the liquid over the chicken and potatoes. If you can get one of those basting things it’s a lot easier than using a spoon. Give the potatoes a rough jostle and stir around. Just be careful not to break up the potatoes too much. It is ok if they do a bit so don’t worry too much.

4. After 2 hours take the lid off, baste again and turn up the heat to 200°C and give it 20 mins. While this is happening get the vege going. Just steam the vege simply then once it’s done add a bit of salt and pepper and a bit of butter. Keep it really simple.

Top tip for carrots. Get a sauce pan add the carrots cut up as your preference, add a tiny splash of water, salt, pepper and teaspoon of butter and a sprig of fresh thyme. Put on a medium – high heat heat with the lid on. Once it’s bubbling away give it 7-8 mins and turn off the heat. Serve when ready.

6. Grab the chicken out the oven. Remove the chicken from the pan and put on a chopping board to rest. Chuck the pan back in the oven to help crisp up the potatoes a bit. Carve the chicken (I’m going to get a tips and techniques section up soon to show you a great way of doing this) Serve it all on a plate, just make sure to get each plate with a nice mix of the onions, potatoes and bacon with the chicken. Yummy!

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