Chicken Ragout with Asparagus and Peas

A lovely way of making the most of a small bunch of asparagus, adding it with peas to a simple chicken ragout enriched with smoked bacon lardons and a glass of white or rose wine, it really becomes a gorgeous stew. Lovely with new potatoes.

Serves 2
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 30 min

1 tbsp olive oil
100g smoked bacon lardons
1 onion
4 chicken thigh fillets
1 tbsp flour
250g asparagus
200ml rose or white wine
150g frozen petits pois
few sprigs of flat leaf parsley

Heat the olive oil in a spacious, lidded sauté/frying pan and add the lardons. Cook, stirring often, adjusting the heat so the fat melts and the bacon browns. Meanwhile, halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Boil the kettle. Stir the onion into the half cooked bacon, stirring, adding a generous pinch salt, cooking until slippery soft. Meanwhile, drop the peas into a pan of salted boiling water from the kettle. Cook for 3 minutes then add the asparagus stalks and 2 minutes later the tips. Boil for 2 minutes then scoop the veg into a colander to drain, reserving the cooking water. By now the onion will be ready, so stir in the chicken and cook until it changes colour. Dust with flour, stirring until it disappears and becomes very juicy. Add the wine, stirring to make a thick sauce. Add 2 ladles of asparagus water (about 150ml) and stir to mix. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Taste to see if you need salt, then fold in the asparagus and peas. Simmer uncovered for a couple of minutes to amalgamate, garnish with a little chopped parsley just before serving.