French Dijon chicken with cheddar and courgette quick bread
|1||whole chicken — broken down into 10 pieces, or 4 legs and 4 thighs|
|3 tbsp||Dijon mustard|
|2 tbsp||double thick cream|
|1 cup||chicken stock|
|1||onion — thinly sliced|
|2||garlic cloves — grated|
|2 tbsp||capers — optional|
|1-2||lemons — 2 tbsp juice, and 1 tbsp zest|
|fresh parsley — chopped, to garnish|
|125 g||whole wheat flour|
|100 g||cake flour|
|4 g||bicarbonate of soda|
|140 g||courgettes — grated|
|60 g||mature cheddar — grated|
|15 ml||milk — for glazing|
|1 tbsp||butter — melted|
|1 packet||seed and nut mix — (optional)|
|olive oil — to dress|
|lemon juice — to dress|
|salt and freshly ground black pepper — to season|
Heat your oven to 200⁰C on the fan setting.
For the bread:
Place the courgette into a clean tea towel. Gather the corners together and squeeze out as much of the water in the courgette as you can. You should be left with roughly 115g of squeezed courgette. Don’t skip this step – you don’t want the excess liquid seeping into the bread when baking.
To a large bowl, add the flours, salt, oats and bicarb, squeezed courgette, honey, buttermilk and cheese (keep a small amount back, about 2 tbsp, to top the bread).
Mix everything together until just combined, with no streaks of flour remaining. The trick to this bread is to mix it as little as possible, as you would with scone dough, as over-mixing can lead to it being heavy and doughy once baked.
Turn the dough out onto a cookie tray lined with baking paper or a silicone mat. Shape the dough into a round and flatten it slightly. Brush the dough with the milk and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
Pop the bread into the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes. If the cheese starts to get too brown too early, cover the bread with some foil.
For the chicken:
While the bread bakes, place an oven-safe pan or casserole onto a high heat. Add a drizzle of oil and brown the chicken pieces on all sides until the skin is golden. Set the chicken pieces aside, as they will finish cooking in the oven.
To the same pan (don’t clean it – you want all those lovely chicken juices), add your onions and cook on medium high until they soften and turn golden brown.
Once the onions are golden, add the mustard, capers, cream, lemon zest and juice. and stock. Stir everything together then add the bone-in chicken pieces back in, skin side up (so it can get super crisp). If using a whole broken down chicken, add the bone-in pieces first, as they take a little longer to cook.
Pop the chicken uncovered into the oven to cook for 20 minutes then add the chicken breast pieces in and cook for 15-20 minutes more, or until the chicken is crispy and cooked through. The time will vary slightly depending on the size of the chicken pieces.
Remove the bread from the oven. While still hot, brush the bread with the melted butter. Set aside to cool slightly (making it easier to slice), while the chicken finishes cooking.
For the salad:
Place the rocket into a serving bowl, sprinkle over the nut and seed mix (if using), then squeeze over a little lemon juice. Finish the salad with a light drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Remove the chicken from the oven and serve it in the casserole alongside the soda bread and quick rocket salad. Slice off thick chunks of fresh bread to dip into your lovely French mustard sauce and enjoy!