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Caucasian Chicken Stew

ingredients

serves 4
1 chicken weighing 1 kg (2 1/4 lbs)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp oil
2 small onions
200 g (7 oz) celeriac
1 carrot
150 g (5 oz) cucumber
150 g (5 oz) pumpkin/or courgette (zucchinis, if unavailable)
4 oz (100 g) 3/4 cup long grain rice
1 bay leaf
Pinch fennel seeds
4 cups (1 litre) 1 3/4 pint water
1 pickled gherkin
4 tbsp soured cream

method

1. Wash and dry chicken, then quarter it.

2. Mix salt, paprika and pepper with 1 tbsp of the oil. Coat chicken pieces with this mixture and marinate for 10 minutes.

3. Peel onion and celeriac, scrape carrot, and rinse all three. Peel cucumber and pumpkin. Cut vegetables into 2.5 cm/1 in pieces.

4. Heat remaining oil in a large, flame-proof casserole. Saute chicken, then add vegetables except cucumber and pumpkin and fry all together.

5. Wash rice, add it to chicken with bay leaf and fennel, pour on water, cover and cook gently on low heat for 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 240°C (475°F) Gas Mark 9.

7. Add cubed cucumber and pumpkin to rice mixture.

8. Place casserole, uncovered, in middle of oven and cook for 15 minutes.

9. Finely chop gerkhin and stir into soured cream.

10. Serve Caucasian Chicken Stew straight from the dish, with an island of cream floating in the middle.

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