Italian Chicken Cassoulet

Preparation time: 30 min Cooking time: 2 hr Cals per serving: 1274


serves: 8
black olive tapenade 8 tsp
chicken quarters 8, about 350g (12 oz) each
garlic bulbs 4 halved vertically
fennel bulbs 4, quartered
olive oil 300 ml (10 fl oz)
Toulouse sausages or other spicy sausage 450 g (1 lb)
black peppercorns and crushed rock salt 4 tsp
fresh rosemary sprigs 8, plus extra to garnish
lemons 4 (8 tbsp juice and reserve the squeezed lemon halves)
fresh chicken stock 900 ml (1 1/2 pt)
cannellini beans 3 x 396 g can, drained
Parma ham 140 g pack
Salt-baked New Potatoes to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan oven/Gas Mark 7. Tuck 1 teaspoon of tapenade under the skin of each chicken quarter. Set aside. Place the garlic and fennel in a large roasting tin with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes. Leave the oven on.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan. Fry the chicken in batches, skin side down for about 4 minutes or until a deep chestnut brown, then turn over and fry for 1 minute on the bone side. Put the chicken, skin side up, in two large roasting tins or two wide, shallow, flameproof dishes.

3. Lower the heat under the frying pan and brown the sausages all over in the fat, then add to the chicken. Add the roasted fennel and garlic to the dish with the peppercorns, salt, rosemary, lemon juice and reserved lemon halves, cut into chunks. Pour over the remaining olive oil.

4. Roast for 45 minutes, swapping the tins around halfway through. Remove the tins from the oven, add the chicken stock and beans. Return to the oven for 15 minutes, then place the slices of Parma ham over the top and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until the ham is crisp and the chicken is cooked through. Strew with rosemary sprigs and serve with the new potatoes.

Freezing: Complete the recipe, but don't add the Parma ham.

To use: Thaw at cool room temperature overnight, place in dishes, cover and cook at 200°C/180°C fan oven/Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes, add the Parma ham and complete the recipe.

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