Chicken with cider, bacon and mushrooms

Recipe from: September 2012

Ingredients 13
Servings 8
Time 00:10


  • 2
    free-range chickens or a selection of chicken pieces of your choice
  • 3
    Tbsp (45 ml/45 g) butter
  • 1
    Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • 3
    large leeks, rinsed and finely sliced
  • 250
    back bacon, diced
  • 3
    cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 500
    tiny button mushrooms
  • 3
    cups (750 ml) dry cider
  • 2 1/2
    (12.5 ml) dried tarragon
  • 1
    big sprig of thyme
  • Salt and milled black pepper
  • 1 1/2
    cups (375 ml) fresh cream
  • 4
    Tbsp (60 ml) finely chopped curly parsley


 Remove any visible fat from the chickens and cut them into 16 portions (or ask your butcher to do this for you).

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, shallow pan, add the leeks and bacon and fry gently over a medium heat for 4–5 minutes, without allowing the leeks to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Remove the leeks, bacon and garlic using a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving no traces that could blacken during the next step.

Brown the chicken pieces on both sides, over a high heat and in batches, for 3–4 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and golden (add a little more butter or oil to the pan if necessary). Set aside on a plate.

Drain off all but 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of the fat, add the mushrooms and fry over a high heat for 2–3 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden. Pour in the cider and bubble briskly for 3 minutes, stirring and scraping to dislodge the golden sediment on the bottom of the pan.

Return the chicken (skin-side up), leeks, garlic and bacon to the pan and add the tarragon, thyme sprig and a big pinch of salt. Reduce the heat and bubble, uncovered, for 25–30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked right through. Turn the chicken pieces over three or four times while they cook.

Remove the thyme sprig, stir in the cream, season to taste with salt and pepper and cook gently for a few more minutes, or until the sauce has reduced slightly and thickened. Scatter with parsley and serve hot with mashed or crushed potatoes and a green salad or vegetables.

Reprinted with permission of Scrumptious South Africa and published by Random House Struik.


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