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Chicken Sauce Piquante

ingredients

serves 4
4 chicken legs or 2 legs and 2 breasts
75 ml (5 tbsp) oil
50 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup plain flour
1 onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, sliced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 bay leaf
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) dried thyme
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) dried oregano
1 - 2 red chilli peppers, seeded and finely chopped
400 g (14 oz) can tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
300 ml (1/2 pint) 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
salt and ground black pepper
watercress, to garnish
boiled potatoes, to serve

method

1. Halve the chicken legs through the 1. joint, or the breasts across the middle, to give eight pieces.

2. In a heavy frying pan, fry the chicken pieces in the oil until brown on all sides, lifting them out and setting them aside as they are done.

3. Strain the oil from the pan into a heavy flameproof casserole. Heat it and stir in the flour. Stir constantly over a low heat until the roux is the colour of peanut butter.

4. As soon as the roux reaches the right stage, tip in the onion, celery
and pepper and stir over the heat for
2 - 3 minutes.

5. Add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme, oregano and chilli pepper(s). Stir for 1 minute, then turn down the heat and stir in the tomatoes with their juice.

6. Return the casserole to the heat and gradualy stir in the stock. Add the chicken pieces, cover and leave to simmer for 45 minutes, until the chicken is tender.

7. If there is too much sauce or it is too runny, remove the lid for the last 10 - 15 minutes of the cooking time and raise the heat a little.

8. Check the seasoning and serve garnished with watercress and accompanied by boiled potatoes, or perhaps rice or pasta, and a green vegetable or salad of your choice.

Variation —
Any kind of meat, poultry or fish can be served with Sauce Piquante. Just cook the meat or fish first, then serve it with plenty of the sauce.

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