Chicken Fricassee with Bacon and Carrots

Good old chicken to the rescue again for a quick, vaguely healthy but filling after work supper. The dish begins by softening diced onion with bay, adding bacon lardons then browning strips of floured chicken, bubbling up with a splash of white wine and chicken stock. Back goes the bacon and onion, sliced carrot and finally a handful of spinach. That’s it. Easy and lovely with potatoes, pasta or cous cous; in my case, sprouts.

Serves 2

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 35 min

1 onion

1 tbsp olive oil

1 bay leaf

1 garlic clove

few sprigs thyme

4 chicken thigh fillets

flour for dusting

90g lardons or sliced streaky bacon

150ml white wine

250ml chicken stock

2 carrots

handful of young spinach leaves

     Halve, peel, finely chop the onion. Heat the oil in a spacious, lidded sauté/frying pan (how many times do I start a recipe like this) over a medium/low heat, stir in the onion and add a generous pinch salt and the bay leaf. Peel and chop the garlic. Strip the thyme leaves off the stalks and give a few chops. Slice the chicken into bite-size strips, dust with flour. Stir garlic, lardons and thyme into the onion, continuing to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until the onion is soft, sloppy and lightly coloured, the lardons crisp. Scoop onion and bacon into a sieve held over the pan, crushed with the back of a spoon to extract maximum oil. Add the chicken, leaving to seal and brown before turning to cook the other side. Add the wine, stirring as it bubbles up over the chicken then add the stock, stirring to make a smooth gravy. Return the onion and bacon, stir, reduce the heat, cover the pan and leave to simmer gently for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, scrape and slice the carrots. Boil in salted water for about 3 minutes until tender. If necessary, wash the spinach and shake dry. When you are satisfied the chicken is cooked through, stir in the carrots and then the spinach. The dish is done when the spinach is wilted.