Farmhouse Chicken

When this dish comes out of the aga, everyone licks their lips. It has always been a favourite family supper in our house, a whole meal in one dish. Originally Mummy reared the chickens herself and she always served it in a big black roasting tin.

Serves 8

  • 1 x 4 lb (1.8 kg) free-range chicken
  • Seasoned flour
  • 1¼ lb (560g) streaky bacon in one piece
  • 2 tablesp sunflower or arachide oil
  • 14 oz (400g) finely sliced or chopped onions
  • 12 -16 ozs (350g-450g) thinly sliced carrots
  • 5 lbs (2.3kg) large ‘old’ potatoes approx.
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pints (1.1L) chicken stock, made from the giblets and carcass

Garnish

  • 1 tablesp. freshly snipped parsley

Deep roasting tin 15” (38cm) square approx.

Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/gas 8

Joint the chicken into 8 pieces; separate the wing joints so they will cook evenly. Cut the rind off the bacon; cut 8ozs (225g) into 1/2 inch (1cm) lardons and the remainder into ¼ inch (5mm) thick slices. If salty, blanch, refresh and dry on kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a wide frying pan and cook the lardons until the fat begins to run and they are pale golden; transfer to a plate. Toss the chicken joints in seasoned flour, sauté in the bacon fat and oil until golden on both sides, remove from the pan and put
with the bacon. Finally toss the onions and carrots in bacon fat for 1-2 minutes. Peel the potatoes and slice a little less than half into 1/4 inch (5mm) rounds. Arrange a layer of potato slices on the base of a deep roasting tin. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle the carrots, onions and bacon over the potatoes and arrange the chicken on top. Season again with salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour on enough hot stock to almost cover. Cut the remaining potatoes into thick slices lengthways, 1 1/2 inches (4cm) approx. and arrange cut side up on top of the chicken (the whole top of the dish should be covered with thick potato slices). Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour approx. After 30 minutes put the strips of bacon on top so they get deliciously crisp with the potatoes. Test after one hour – it may take a little longer. If it’s getting too brown cover loosely with greaseproof paper or foil near the end of the cooking. Sprinkle with lots of snipped parsley and serve at the table, followed by a good green salad.

Download the Farmhouse Chicken recipes as a PDF for printing.

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