Gourmet (South Africa) - - EASY TO IMPRESS -

As with so many slow-cooked dishes, this tastes even bet­ter the next day, so it’s ideal to pre­pare in ad­vance. It also freezes bril­liantly. You could use car­rots in­stead of parsnips.

12 free-range chicken thighs,

bone-in, skin removed salt and freshly ground

black pep­per

3 to 4T olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

600g parsnips (3 to 4), peeled or scrubbed, roughly chopped 3 cloves gar­lic, bashed to loosen the skin, then peeled and left whole, to save time, or finely chopped

1T plain flour

3T whole­grain mus­tard

11/2T English mus­tard

1T clear honey

750ml to 1l hot veg­etable or

chicken stock

4 to 5 sprigs thyme hand­ful chopped pars­ley

To serve pearl bar­ley

or mashed potato, green veg­eta­bles

1. Heat the oven to 170˚C. Gen­er­ously sea­son the chicken. Heat 2T of oil in a large heavy-based casse­role over a medium-high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides, in batches to avoid over­crowd­ing, adding a lit­tle more oil if needed. Re­move from pan and set aside. 2. Add an­other ta­ble­spoon of oil and the onions to the casse­role; fry for 5 min­utes un­til soft­ened and deep golden brown, then add the parsnips and fry for 5 min­utes un­til golden in places. Stir in the gar­lic and fry for 1 minute. Stir in the flour to coat the veg­eta­bles, then stir in the mus­tards and honey. Re­turn the chicken to the pan with any juices; pour in about 750ml of hot stock, or enough just to cover the chicken. Tuck in some sprigs of thyme and sea­son again. 3. Bring to a sim­mer, then cover with a lid and trans­fer to the oven for

11/2 hours; check the liq­uid level half­way through the cook­ing time and add a lit­tle stock if it looks dry. If you’re not ready to eat, turn the oven right down; the chicken will stay juicy for at least an hour. When ready to serve, re­move from the oven and leave to rest, lid on, for 10 min­utes. Stir through the pars­ley, check the sea­son­ing and serve.

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