Rosemary and Lemon Chicken with Peas and Jersey Royals

This photo doesn’t do this stew-cum-fricasee justice. It’s the leftovers rather than the just-cooked dish because I forgot to take a photo. Ever since a spiky rosemary leaf inveigled its way under a dental crown and caused chaos, I chop those little spikes to dust. Here it mingles with garlic and lemon zest to season the white wine and stock the chicken is cooked in. I included mushrooms as I had some in need of eating but in retrospect I’d say their inclusion is optional. Chicken thighs on the bone but without skin is simmered in this aromatic broth, separately cooked peas and little potatoes added at the end. A delicious meal-in-a-bowl that suits whatever the weather has got to throw at us.

Serves 3-4

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 45 min

1 kg/7 or 8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-off

3 tbsp vegetable oil

150 ml white wine

1 onion

2 sprigs rosemary

3 garlic cloves

200g small mushrooms, optional

1 lemon

200ml chicken stock

20 small Jersey Royal or other new potatoes

300g podded peas or frozen petits pois

     Pat the chicken thighs dry with kitchen paper. Dust with flour, turn and repeat. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a spacious, lidded frying/saute pan and brown the chicken in batches in hot oil to sear, turning after a couple of minutes. Set aside. Add the wine to the empty pan and let it bubble up to deglaze/clean the pan. Set aside. Meanwhile, halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Strip the rosemary spikes from their stalk and chop finely to dust – a mezzaluna is best for this. Finely chop the garlic. Add the remaining oil to the empty pan and stir in the onion, adjusting the heat to soften rather than brown. Add a pinch salt, stir occasionally and after about 10 minutes add garlic and rosemary. Wipe the mushrooms and stir into the onion, stirring for a few minutes until dark and juicy. Microplane zest the lemon over the top. Cook for a couple of minutes then bury the chicken in the onion, add the wine and stock and bring to simmer. Cover and cook over a low heat for about 30 minutes, turning half way through, or until the chicken is cooked through. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice. Scrape, rinse and boil the potatoes, adding the peas for the last few minutes of cooking. Add both to the chicken just before serving – I tipped the contents of the pan into a warmed bowl – letting everything mingle and mix. That’s it.