A couple of chooks and a first world problem

On September 3, 2015 by battenburgbelle

I was recently lucky enough to win a copy of Diana Henry’s wonderful book, A Bird in the Hand, full of tempting things to do with chicken. I’ve found two great recipes already and have little post it notes marking many more I want to try out. The book came from Morley Butchers – so a big thank you to them!

A few weeks ago we stayed with the Cardiff branch of the Battenburg clan and as my brother in law (the chef on that side of the family) was working late, I stepped into the kitchen and made Diana’s mustard chicken, with spicy black beans and avocado salsa. The children rejected out of hand all the accompaniments but loved the chicken. Although they were slightly taken aback afterwards to hear that there were spices involved. The grown ups loved the lot.

Mustard chicken

Mustard chicken, with all the trimmings

By coincidence my brother in law was staying with us for my second foray into the book. Everything was rather delayed by Missy B leaving her braces at my brother’s house in Essex, meaning I had to deposit her with her London grandparents to get some homework done, while I went back to meet up with my brother halfway back to Colchester to retrieve the braces… So dinner was late and we were all too hungry to worry about taking photographs. This is the aftermath.

Remains of the day

Remains of the day

I chose thyme roasted chicken with Breton onion sauce – a nice warming dish for a horrible wet day (first day of September…) Due to earlier delays, I had texted the shopping list to my brother in law, who was able to get everything except Calvados. Well, he could have got some from Prohibition Wines, but the man there very reasonably suggested that a bottle at around £50 was not right for cooking. I would only have used a couple of tablespoons, but even so, I was glad Mark didn’t splash out on that. We debated whether Poire William (bought for a previous dessert and successfully hidden from Mr B) would work instead – obviously a ridiculous first world problem. We decided to give it a whirl – it may not have been right, but the sauce was truly delicious. It’s a béchamel sauce, enriched with lots of finely chopped onion (fortunately Mark ignored my text request for 450 onions – I forgot to specify that I was referring to grammes not individual onions), sweated very slowly in butter, with a bit of creme fraiche plus the aforementioned Poire William. The roast chicken was great – very succulent and tasty. Served with some crushed potatoes and green beans – perfect simple accompaniments for a rich chicken dish.

Oh and Missy B also left her glasses in Colchester, it now turns out…

10 Responses to “A couple of chooks and a first world problem”

  • What a scatterbrain she is!

    Both your chicken dishes sound fab. I have that wonderful book too, but haven’t made anything from it yet. I drool over it in bed though and like you, have marked up several recipes to try. Chicken. Yum yum.

  • Grandma Battenburg

    1. You do know Diana Henry writes for that Telegraph, don’t you? Oh and Saga Magazine!
    2. What did you have to do to win the book?
    3. The second chicken sounds delightful – hint.
    4. If you had asked we could have donated some Calvados, We have 2 bottles of differing qualities in the cupboard.
    5. Missy B obviously takes after her Grandfather!!!

    • battenburgbelle

      Thank you Ma

      1. I have forgiven her for the Telegraph. I don’t read the Saga mag, so I didn’t know about that…
      2. I had to sign up for their blog. Not onerous.
      3. Understood.
      4. I will happily relieve you of one or both bottles. Shame I didn’t mention it while I was there!
      5. Yep – delightful and slightly flaky on occasion 😉

  • The mustard chicken looks amazing!

    Gotta love those first world problems. My husband still teases me about the time I complained about running out of extra virgin olive oil and had to use truffle oil instead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *