The Chronicle



- – Dominic Smith


• 1.6kg whole chicken or 4 chicken marylands

• 200g speck, cut into small strips

• 2 garlic cloves, crushed

• 60ml (¼ cup) brandy

• 35g (¼ cup) plain flour

• 500ml (2 cups) liquid chicken stock

• 100g butter, chopped

• 8 french shallots

• 1 tbsp caster sugar

• 125ml (½ cup) water

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 300g button mushrooms, trimmed

• 2 tbsp fresh continenta­l parsley, chopped

• Fresh thyme sprigs, to serve

• Crusty rolls or baguette, to serve


• 750ml (3 cups) pinot noir

• 2 carrots, thickly sliced

• 2 celery sticks, trimmed, thickly sliced

• 1 brown onion, cut into wedges

• 3 garlic cloves, crushed

• 3 french shallots, peeled, halved

• 2 tsp black peppercorn­s

• 2 dried bay leaves

• 10 sprigs fresh thyme

• 1 tsp salt


1 To make marinade, place all ingredient­s in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Set aside to cool and allow the flavours to infuse.

2 Meanwhile, to joint chicken, use a sharp knife or poultry shears to cut down either side of the backbone. Discard the bone. Halve chicken through the breastbone. With chicken skin-side up, cut in half between the thigh and breast. Trim wings at first joint and discard bones. 3 Place chicken and marinade in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 3 hours to marinate. 4 Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towel. Strain marinade into a bowl. Reserve vegetable mixture.

5 Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the speck and cook, stirring occasional­ly, for 3 minutes or until the fat renders (releases from speck and melts) and the speck is golden. Remove speck with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Return frying pan to medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown, in 2 batches, for 3 minutes each side. Transfer to a bowl. Drain all but 2 tbs fat from the dish, return to heat. Add garlic and reserved vegetable mixture and cook, stirring occasional­ly, for 6 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add brandy and use a long match to carefully ignite. Allow flame to burn out, then stir in flour. Gradually stir in the stock, then reserved marinade. Place mixture in a slow cooker and top with chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is tender and almost falling off the bone.

6 Meanwhile, melt half the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sugar, and cook, stirring occasional­ly, for 5 minutes or until shallots caramelise. Add water and bring to boil. Simmer for 8 minutes or until syrupy.

7 Heat oil and remaining butter in a frying pan over high heat. Add mushrooms and toss for 5 minutes or until golden. Season.

8 Add the speck, eschalot mixture and mushrooms to slow cooker. Cover and cook for 30 minutes to heat through. Season. Scatter with parsley and thyme. Serve with bread.

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