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Although there’s not much in the garden at this time of year, I find there’s always something growing that will improve a dish. This recipe uses sorrel (my only patch of it) in a lovely creamy sauce, to accompany chicken. Sorrel is a delicate broad leafed green herb and has a beautiful sharp flavour, somewhere between bramley apples and rhubarb, but with an underlying lemonyness. It’s incredibly good with fish and equally good with chicken.
1 Chicken jointed
2 Tbls of olive oil
3 - 4 cloves of garlic bashed or halved
A spring of rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
A handful of sage leaves roughly chopped
A large bunch of sorrel, rinsed and courser stems removed
200ml of double cream
2 tsp of Dijon musted
300ml of chicken stock or water
A handful of parsley and chives, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Season the chicken pieces all over with salt and pepper. Set a large heavy pan over a medium high heat. Add the olive oil and when it’s hot add the chicken. Fry it for 8 – 10 minutes, on all sides, until it’s lovely and golden, caramalised and crisp. Scatter over the rosemary and sage and add the garlic. Cook for a further 3 – 4 minutes then add the stock (or water) give the pan a shake and place a lid on. Turn the heat down a little and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Keep half an eye on it and add more stock if it needs it. After the allotted time, lift the lid and, using a pair of tongs, lift the chicken pieces out to a plate and set to one side.
Roughly chop the sorrel and add it to the hot pan of chicken juices. Stir in the sorrel, it will begin to wilt quite quickly. Sorrel loses its vibrant green colour when it’s cooked and takes on a dull khaki green instead, but don’t worry, it doesn’t lose its wonderful flavour. When the sorrel has collapsed and is nice and tender, pour in the cream, add the mustard and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, and any juices from the base of the plate it’s been sitting on. Cook uncovered until the sauce is nice and thick, and the chicken is hot through. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Scatter over the chives and parsley and bring to the table with a nice steaming bowl of brown rice or some crispy sauté potatoes.