Chicken in Red Wine with Carrots and Peas

Cooking bacon lardons directly from the deep freeze is a new discovery for me. Those little 75g packs soon defrost in a hot pan with a scrap of cooking oil, leaving just the right amount of time to peel and chop an onion, cut chicken into double bite-size pieces, peel a few carrots and begin defrosting some frozen peas. This ersatz version of coq au vin was cooked at break neck speed, no marinating, no fuss, just cook and eat. It was delicious.

Serves 2

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 25 min

1 ½ tbsp olive oil

75g smoked bacon lardons

1 large onion

4 large chicken thigh fillets

flour for dusting

2 large carrots

large glass of red wine

150ml chicken stock

150g frozen petits pois

few sprigs of flat leaf parsley

     Heat the oil in a spacious, lidded frying/sauté pan and add the lardons. Leave them to crisp until the fat runs, stirring as that begins to happen but not before. There will be plenty of time to halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Slice the chicken fillets into 4 pieces, cutting down the unfurled meat. Dust lavishly with flour to thoroughly cover. Use a potato peeler to scrape the carrots and cut into big pieces. Stir the onion into the bacon, reducing the heat slightly and cooking, stirring often for about 15 minutes until the onion is translucent and beginning to wilt and colour. Move onion and bacon to the side of the pan, increase the heat slightly and add the chicken, letting the pieces brown before you turn to brown the other side. Scrape onion and bacon back over the top and add the wine. Stir as it bubbles up, continuing to stir to make a creamy wine sauce. Now add the stock, stirring to amalgamate. Season lightly with salt and pepper, turn the heat low, cover the pan and leave to simmer gently for about 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, Cook the carrot in boiling salted water, adding the peas for the last few minutes of cooking. When both are tender the dish is done. I piled carrot and peas over the top of the chicken adding chopped parsley for pretty.