Intensely chickeny casserole for a loved one

I invented this recipe the other day. It has to be said you only bother for someone who you feel truly deserves it and will appreciate the effort, as you will see from the recipe it is fiddly. Do not on any account skimp on the ingredients or cut corners, done with the right ingredients the result is intensely delicious, but not in the least heavy. The chicken has to be a good cornfed happy happy bird, the smaller the better, I deeply distrust those big white creatures which are as sad to look at in death as they must have been in life.
Here's how...
In a large casserole put a slurp of olive oil, add ginger, garlic, spring onions and spices. Put over a medium heat to sweat the onion and release spices' flavours. It should not be too high, it is critical not to over toast the garlic.
Prepare the bird - this is the fiddly bit. Use a big sharp knife - if you haven't got one stop now and open a can instead of cooking.
The carcass is crucial for creating the rich stock, and a mediocre bird will never be worth the bother. Add this to the casserole, then as all the other parts are jointed add them to the pot too. Legs should be divided into thigh and drumstick, wings too into 2 parts each. Remove the breast meat from the bone and each breast slice lengthways. These should then be rolled up and tied with string. The principle is that the chicken breasts cook in a different way, so you don't want them to be overcooked and stringy just as the bits with bone are becoming succulent. Turn the chicken pieces over to brown very slightly. Add flour, stir. Add wine and water, stir. So in effect you are making a reduced stock as you cook the chicken. Put in oven at 160 degrees for 45 mins. Set aside the carcass, this has now done it's job. Then remove the chicken place onto a warm plate, cover with foil and put in oven at 100 degrees. Now back to the sauce, test the strength of the flavour and consistency. When this has a good balance, salt added very carefully, dollop in 1 dstsp creme fraiche and whisk carefully. Turn off heat until the meat has had about 30mins in oven, at this point return the sauce almost to the boil, add the chicken pieces momentarily, just to coat them and then divide onto warm plates. The meat should be tender, but not collapsing or woolly and the sauce unctuous and velvety, spicy and chickeny. Serve with something very simple like a perfectly boiled salad potato or two, so the flavour sings out.


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