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Pear Cider and Thyme Braised Chicken

  • 1 whole fresh chicken
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • 3 large onions
  • sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup of pear cider
  • 4 small heads of garlic with the tops sliced off
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Rinse the chicken, pat dry and stuff with the lemon quarters.  Truss the chicken with kitchen string and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil and butter in a cast iron frying pan or casserole dish (or this can be done in the roasting dish in the oven) and braise the chicken both sides until golden.  Place the chicken in the crock pot.

Add the onions, thyme,  bay leaves to the frying pan and cook for 10 minutes stirring often.   Increase the heat and add the cider and stock and bring to the boil.  Pour this mixture over the chicken and place the garlic around it.  Cover and cook on low for several hours.

Lift the chicken out when cooked and thicken the gravy if needed.  Serve with your choice of vegetables.  Serves 4-6.

Roasted red onion salad with Mint

  • 1 kg red onions
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup mint leaves

Preheat the oven to 200C.  Peel and cut the onions into thick wedges.  Put them in a shallow oven proof dish lined with baking paper.  Season with a little salt and freshly ground pepper.  Pour over 2 Tbsp of the olive oil.  Leave to cool.

Cook the onions for about 30 mins until they are golden brown.  Transfer to a shallow bowl and pour over the remaining oil, adding the vinegar, cinnamon and salt.  Sprinkle with the chopped mint and serve at room temperature.