This week Celebrity Chef & Fellow Master Chef Steven Saunders, proprietor of The Little Geranium in La Cala cooks a fantastic chicken stew, a perfect dish for post Easter lockdown!
POULET A LA MOUTARDE as it is called in France, translates as chicken with mustard and is a classic French stew. This is just the most delightful recipe, easy to make, deliciously tasty and very cost effective.
Easter has now passed and it seems like lockdown has been going on forever! Everybody is cooking at home because we have no choice and my concern is that they will all turn into Master Chefs! Lol.
I have a lot of people asking me for recipes but as fast as I can reveal my ideas, shops are running out of the produce! My home-made bread recipe that you can make and bake within the hour was in EWN a couple of weeks ago and is on my Facebook as a video, but immediately people were saying that they couldn’t get flour!
I had no idea that the shops would run out of basic things like flour, it is such a staple product.
These are crazy times, so let’s try and get these ingredients pretty fast and follow this simple recipe! You will need a whole chicken but get a good one, campo over here or free range in the UK. We are going to joint it and use every single bit of it like it should be.
In the luxury world that we have been living in we often disregard the wings and sometimes even the legs but in this new world we eat everything and actually that is the attraction! It all cooks in a lovely stock which helps make the magical flavours come together. I use lemons from my own garden which enhances the dish and herbs like French parsley or fresh tarragon are excellent with it, but get what you can and don’t stress over it!
I remember putting this on my lunch menu when Chef Raymond Blanc was booked to come for lunch at The Pink Geranium a few years ago. He was a colleague and friend and someone that I admired not just for his cooking skills (which are driven by his immense passion) but also for his business skills.
So I wrote a menu with some French influence which I knew he would like and I put this chicken dish on the menu along with my mother’s Beef Bourguignon and a fantastic sousvide foie gras terrine with braised oxtail and home-made brioche. He was going to be well impressed!
I worked on the dishes in the kitchen days before with my chefs, making the terrine and the brioche and we got it so perfect. Then his office called and cancelled! I was so disappointed.
A few months later I had an evening dinner party booked at his Le Manoir in Oxford with friends and I called him and asked him if he was going to be there, I wanted to see him. I remember saying that I knew he would like to know that I was going although the table was not in my name. He agreed and apologised for cancelling and said he would be there.
On the day of the dinner party he left a card on our table with an apology handwritten inside and a cartoon drawing of a chef saying …sorry!
I was sorry too, but from that day onwards I never messaged him again. However whenever I cook this dish he comes to mind!
Steven Saunders’s opinions are his own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.
Poulet a la moutarde
Ingredients (Serves four)
- 2 tbsp of vegetable oil or light olive oil
- 1 whole chicken free range
- 125g of salted butter
- 3 small onions or shallots peeled and quartered
- 3 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced thinly
- 2 bay leaves
- 250ml of white wine
- 500ml of chicken stock
- 150ml of cream
- 2 generous teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 handful of French parsley chopped or fresh tarragon
- Maldon salt
- Black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
Place a large, heavy-bottomed casserole type pan over a high heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once the pan is hot add the chicken wings, thighs, legs and breasts skin-side down and cook for three or four minutes until the skins are golden and crisp.
Remove the chicken from the pan; now add the second tablespoon of oil and half the butter. When the butter is foaming, add the onions and the sliced garlic and cook for about three minutes until they soften but do not colour too much.
Add the chicken back into the pan skin-side up and pour in the white wine. Reduce the wine by about half and now add the chicken stock and the bay leaves and some sprigs of parsley.
Cook uncovered in a preheated oven 150ºc for 45 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked (remove a piece and test it) then add the cream, the remaining butter and stir in the mustard. Simmer for about 10 minutes on top of the stove and until the sauce thickens.
Taste and season with salt and pepper, then stir in the chopped parsley or tarragon and squeeze the lemon juice all over and serve.
This dish is fantastic with some buttery mashed potato or if you have it add a little truffle oil to the mash.
Choose some green vegetables and even some carrots to accompany it in the centre of the table.
Follow Steven on Instagram ….saunderschef
The Little Geranium, Winner of Best Contemporary International Restaurant Spain 2020 (Innovation and Excellence Award)