On the menu

Recipe of the week: chicken braised with wild garlic and lemon

Wild garlic is back in season – make the most of it with this Rory O’Connell recipe

Wild garlic has just come into season, and this dish is a superb way to enjoy it, says Rory O’Connell. The quantity of wild garlic may seem excessive, but when cooked this way the flavour is subtle and sophisticated.

Serves six people

Ingredients
  • 1 organic or free-range chicken
  • 60g butter, at room temperature
  • 500ml wild garlic leaves, finely chopped (measure the wild garlic in a measuring jug)
  • 1 lemon
  • 120ml white wine, such as Chardonnay
  • 120ml chicken stock
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • garnish with garlic flowers (if available)
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  • Heat a large, heavy-based cast-iron casserole on a gentle heat. Dry the breast side of the chicken with kitchen paper. Rub the breast with 10g of the butter. Place the chicken breast-side down in the heated casserole and allow to colour gently until both breasts are golden.
  • Turn the chicken breast-side up in the casserole and season with salt and pepper. Mix half of the chopped wild garlic with the remaining 50g of butter and spread it all over the chicken.
  • Zest the lemon with a Microplane grater directly over the chicken. Pour in the wine and chicken stock and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Cook the chicken in the preheated oven for about 90mins. To ensure the chicken is fully cooked, check that the juices between the leg and the breast run clear, with no trace of pink.
  • When cooked, scrape any of the chopped garlic leaves still sitting on the breast into the juices in the bottom of the pan. Remove the chicken and keep warm in an oven set to 100°C.
  • Place the casserole on a low heat on the hob, add the remaining chopped garlic leaves and bring the juices to a simmer. Cook for 5mins, then taste and adjust the seasoning. The juices may take on a slightly syrupy consistency, which is perfect, but don’t over-reduce or the flavour will be too strong.
  • Carve the chicken neatly onto a hot serving dish and pour over the bubbling hot sauce or pass separately in a heated sauce boat. Sprinkle the wild garlic flowers, if using, over the dish.

Rory O’Connell is co-founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Cork, Ireland (ballymaloe.com).

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