Saturday, September 29, 2007

Black Currant Chicken


For some reason, I'm always hesitant when it comes to cooking chicken whole. I don't know why - it's not that it hasn't been successful in the past, it's just that I somehow think it's harder than it really is. And that goes for dividing a whole chicken as well - I usually opt for buying ready-cut pieces. Which is really quite stupid. But I do need to practise - because I just don't know the proper way to divide a bird, I just don't. Luckily, it doesn't matter all that much - after all, I'm a home cook, not a chef. (Although if I was a chef, I bet I'd know how to do it properly!)

Anyway. This is a really beautiful chicken dish I made a few weeks ago, for dinner with my sister and Peter the Sushi chef. It was hugely successful - we ate every last piece of it. Do use fresh or frozen currants if you have them - but if you don't, I think this will be fine just using cordial, too. That's what I'll be doing this winter!

Black Currant Chicken
Serves 4

1 fresh chicken
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
5 small carrots, halved
5 small yellow onions
200 ml fresh or frozen black currants
10 sage leaves, large
100 ml blackcurrant cordial, undiluted
400 ml water
1 tbsp concentrated chicken stock
1 tbsp runny honey
black pepper

For the sauce:
500 ml stock from the chicken
2 tbsp soy sauce
2-3 tbsp corn starch
water - if it's too thick
salt, pepper

Divide the chicken into suitable portions. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, and brown the chicken on all sides. Crush the garlic, clean the onions, and cut the carrots into smaller pieces. Add this to the pot, as well as black currants and sage.

Add cordial, concentrated stock, honey and water, and some black pepper.

Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for at least 30 minutes, but the chicken will be more tender if you cook it for an hour.

You need about 500 ml of the cooking fluid for the sauce, so pass that through a sieve into a small saucepan. Whisk in the corn starch and the soy, and bring to a boil. Let it simmer until it thickens, and add some water if it becomes to thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Put the chicken pieces, the onions and the carrots in a bowl (discard the rest of the stuff in the pot) and pour over some of the sauce. Serve with boiled potatoes, and more sauce.

Recipe in Swedish:


Lan said...

Start by buying a pair of chicken shears (like gigantic scissors) and cut either side of the backbone. Then, open the chicken out and you can see where to cut off the legs, breasts, etc.

However, the best thing about buying chicken pieces is that you're not limited to two of everything, and sometimes wings or thighs are more suited to a particular dish than other parts.

Anne said...

Thank you! I know - it sounds so easy in theory, but when I'm actually there, chicken in hand.. it just doesn't really work. Oh well! :) Chicken shears sound like a good idea though!

Amanda said...

Do know that you're not the only one--I rarely cut up a whole chicken. Plus it's cheaper here to purchase a cut-up chicken than a whole one! So I usually only buy them for roasting.

Your recipe looks delish... can't wait to try it!

Kajal@aapplemint said...

i've never cook chicken in black currant anything. How does it taste , does it make it sweetish or slightly tangy ?

Anne said...

Kate - I'd say it's fruity, sweetish, but also sort of earthy in flavor. If you want more of a tang, add some red currants, or a splash of rhubarb cordial! :)

Mrs W - glad to hear it's not just me :)

Anonymous said...

Its look really delicious. I will try it some other day.