With a bit of start up advice from the Hairy bikers and their recipe for Chicken with preserved lemons, I managed to come up with this fab concoction. My version of slow cook chicken with olives is similar to theirs and equally delicious but a bit tweaked so that it goes further and uses more convenient store cupboard goods.
I find slow cooking very appealing. It’s the freedom of having a glass of plonk and some down time whilst the smells waft about making you feel excited about what you’re eventually going to eat. It’s comforting, easy, often involves minimum prep and comes up top with flavours, just like this. The best thing about this recipe is that in comparison to most stews/casseroles I make, this is relatively light. The flavours are Mediterranean, sunny and fresh thanks to the lemon, olives and fresh herbs, but the slow cooked pulled chicken brings you back to soothing late winter dining. Also being chicken, the stewing time was only about an hour and a half which makes it possible to do when you get back from a hard days night.
Click continue reading for the full ingredients and recipe
The ingredients (serves 5):
- 10 chicken drumsticks
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic crushed and an inch of ginger grated
- 1 handful each of fresh coriander and parsley
- 1tsp each of cumin, zumac and cinnamon
- Handful of chopped black olives (good quality jarred)
- Handful of capers
- 2 lemons
- 2 tbsps of sour cream
- 1 pint of chicken stock
- Olive oil, sea salt and black pepper and a dash of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsps plain flour
- A cupful of frozen broad beans and garden peas
- Some brown sugar to taste
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 170c. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and brown your drumsticks on all sides until the skin is crispy. Transfer to a plate and deglaze the crispy chicken scraps with balsamic vinegar. Heat a drop of oil in your stewing pot and cook the onions on a low heat until soft and translucent. Add what you got out of your frying pan and the dried spices, garlic and ginger to the onions and cook for a further two minutes.
Cut your two lemons in half and add all the squeezed out juice plus the lemon skins into the pan of onions along with the chicken. Stir well and add the stock so that all of the ingredients are covered. Season at this point with black pepper only (the olives will make things salty so you want to test them before seasoning). Bring to the boil, put the lid on your pan and transfer to the oven for an hour and a quarter.
Check once to make sure there is enough juice, it wants to look runny still, but a bit thicker and less clear. Add some more stock if it looks too dry. After the times up, remove from the oven and add the chopped olives, capers and fresh herbs. Put back in the oven for ten minutes whilst you make some plain cous couse to serve.
Remove and add the broad beans and peas. Let it sit out of the oven for long enough for the beans/peas to cook and when ready remove all the chicken from the bones, setting the bones aside for stock. Remove and discard the lemons. Add your flour whisking it gently into the stew to thicken slightly and add salt, sour cream and brown sugar to taste. Serve with generous amounts of cous cous and some garlic bread to mop up the flavours.