Chicken Fricassee with Artichoke Puree

I sometimes buy ingredients out of curiosity and that was the case with the artichoke puree I bought at . I had no particular end in sight for it but one night when I’d defrosted chicken thighs for supper and was looking around for something to go with them, the puree popped back into my mind. The result was a typical Dinner Tonight recipe; onions softened in olive oil with thyme and diced smoked streaky bacon, then thick batons of chicken browned in the juices with boiled frozen petit pois added at the end, the fricassee served with a dollop of artichoke puree. The puree, incidentally, had a mild artichoke flavour with a pickled and oily back taste. I thought it was probably chargrilled artichokes in oil blitzed to a puree with lemon juice and herbs and seem to remember Ruth Watson had something similar on the menu in her days at The Crown and Castle at Orford.

Serves 2

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 25 min

1 onion

1 tbsp olive oil

few sprigs thyme

3 chicken thigh fillets

50g diced pancetta or smoked bacon lardons

150g frozen petits pois

few sprigs flat leaf parsley

lemon wedges Halve, peel and finely dice the onion. Strip the thyme from the stalks. Heat the oil in a spacious frying/sauté pan, stir in the onion. Add a pinch of salt and cook over a medium-low heat, stirring often for about 10 minutes until glassy and taking colour. Meanwhile slice the chicken into bite-size chunks. Boil the peas until tender. When you are happy with the onion, stir in the bacon and cook until the fat runs and crisps. Add the chicken and thyme, turning as the pieces brown – too soon and they will stick and tear – then reduce the heat and cook for a further 10 minutes or so until all the pieces are cooked. Add finely chopped parsley leaves and peas. Toss and spoon into the middle of hot plates. Add a dollop of puree and serve with a lemon wedge.