Thursday, 29 November 2012

Creamy Mustard Chicken One-Pot

Cold wintry nights call for hearty, warming dishes, and mid-week, after a cold and often wet commute, sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to call on the classic one-pot style of cooking. One-pot cooking means you can prepare everything you need, bung it into the oven, or leave it cooking on the hob, and then go for a steaming hot bath or shower or get on with household chores, Christmas gift-wrapping or just relax with a book or your favourite TV show.

This is a dish I cook for solace when I’m rushing around doing 101 things, Creamy Mustard Chicken.

I use chicken thighs or drumsticks which are also a cheap choice, so great for towards the end of the month when purses are light, whole grain mustard for some much-needed heat and flavour and double cream for a decadent, naughty feel – although you could substitute this for crème fraiche, which is equally good if you want to feel virtuous. Chopped leeks give a good onion flavour and are a lot easier, and most importantly, quicker to prepare than an onion.

This dish is a bit of a chameleon for me, as it changes each time I make it according to what vegetables I have in the fridge – peas work well, as do chopped parsnips, carrots and squash and mushrooms add a delicious woody taste. If you wanted to add a meatier dimension you could even fry some pancetta or smoked bacon and chop up and scatter into your baking dish.

When I prepared it this week, I was going for speed and solace combined, and forgot the vegetables – I cooked some green beans separately towards the end and that worked a treat too. I made enough for two plus a portion for lunch the next day.

Here’s How:

4-6 chicken thighs or drumsticks
250ml double cream
2-3 cloves of garlic, no need to peel
2-3 leeks
2 tablespoon’s Wholegrain mustard
50-60ml chicken stock
New potatoes
Vegetables of your choice
A few sprigs of thyme

Firstly half and par-boil your potatoes – use boiled water from the kettle and cook at a high heat for ten minutes to really start them off.

Trim and slice your leeks and place into an ovenproof dish and scatter over the garlic cloves.

Wash and pat dry the chicken pieces and arrange into the dish. Season to taste.

In a jug pop the cream, mustard and chicken stock and stir thoroughly.

Once the potatoes have been on long enough, and you can just push a fork through, take off the heat and drain and place in the ‘holes’ around the chicken in the dish.

Cover completely with the sauce mixture and season again. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme and place into the oven. 

Cook for 35-45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is bubbling. Take out of the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes before dishing up your one-pot wonder.

It’s particularly good with some crusty bread dipped in too.

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