Chicken with garlic and cider

This is a wonderful impromptu dish I made for my mother when looking at what ingredients I had at hand. From my trusted source of ocado recipes.

Don’t be put off by the large quantity of garlic, as the flavour will mellow in the cooking. Good with boiled new potatoes and green beans.

Serves 4

Total time required 50 mins

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

15 Garlic Cloves, unpeeled

1 pinch Salt

1 pinch Black Pepper, freshly ground

2 tbsp Olive Oil

30g Butter, unsalted

4 Chicken Breasts, skin on

1 Bay Leaf

450ml Dry Cider

200ml Apple Juice

200ml Double Cream

1 tbsp Thyme, leaves

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Cook the whole, unpeeled garlic cloves in a pan of boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Drain, cool slightly, then peel and set aside.

Heat the oil and butter in the casserole. When sizzling, add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Turn the chicken over and add the garlic cloves, bay leaf, cider, and apple juice. Cover and transfer to the oven for 20–25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Lift the chicken out of the pan. Remove half the garlic cloves and discard. Bring the remaining juices up to the boil. Crush the garlic into the juices with a fork, then boil until reduced and thickened slightly.

Add the cream, season to taste with salt and pepper, and simmer for 1 minute. Return the chicken to the sauce and baste with the juices; add the thyme leaves and serve immediately.

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Normandy pork with cider

Ok, I’ve been delia-ed. This is a Delia recipe and it works a treat. This is what she sayz:

I’ve always loved Normandy and the abundance of recipes that include apples and cider. That said, the cider produced in my native Suffolk is what I always use, not to mention the apples. What does genuinely come from Normandy, however, is the crème fraiche – something that we in England can never replicate and whilst the half-fat version is not quite as luscious, it’s fab for cooking.

Ingredients:
Serves 2

1 x 180 g jar Bramley apple sauce (Delia prefers Sainsbury’s one but I have used the Waitrose one)
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb (450 g) shoulder of pork
8 fl oz (225 ml) Aspall dry cider
2 fl oz (55 ml) Aspall cider vinegar
salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 rounded tablespoons half-fat crème fraîche

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325ºF (170ºC). Cut the pork into 11/4 inch (3 cm) cubes. Then, heat the oil and butter in a 9½ inch (24 cm) shallow, ovenproof pan or casserole and cook the onion in it over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Then increase the heat and add the cubes of pork and stir over the heat for a couple of minutes. The pork doesn’t need to be browned, just lightly coloured.

Next, add the cider, cider vinegar and a generous seasoning of salt and freshly milled black pepper. Bring everything up to simmering point and then transfer the pan or casserole to the oven and cook, without a lid, for an hour, by which time the liquid will have reduced considerably.

Then, stir in contents of the jar of apple sauce and the crème fraîche and return to the oven, again without a lid, for a further 15 minutes. New potatoes with butter and chives and some spinach with a squeeze of lemon would be a nice accompaniment.