Food & Drink: Weekend Cook 4: Pot-Roasted Chicken With Pistou Serves four

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The Independent Culture
I USUALLY add lots of herbs and aromatics to the pot when cooking in this fashion, here though the concentrated hit of basil provided by the pistou does away with the need. And why complicate things? With this I would serve some mealy maincrop potatoes, plain boiled for mashing into the juices, and afterwards a well-furnished cheeseboard.

1 x 1.6 kg/3.5 lb chicken

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt, black pepper

150 ml/5 fl oz white wine

150 ml/5 fl oz chicken stock

or water

3 fat handfuls of basil

leaves (i.e. three

supermarket packets)

1 garlic clove, peeled

Heat the oven to 180C fan oven/190C or 375F electric oven/Gas 5. Heat a frying pan, lightly coat the chicken with olive oil using your hands, season and colour it on all sides. Place the chicken breast-side up in a large flameproof casserole. Add the wine and stock or water, then cover and cook in the oven for 55 minutes. Check it halfway through and if it's drying out add another 50-100 ml/2-31/2 fl oz water. While the chicken is cooking place the basil and garlic in a food processor with four tablespoons of olive oil and reduce to a paste. Once the chicken is cooked lift it on to a plate tipping any juices back into the pot, and leave it to rest for five minutes. Skim off the fat and simmer the juices until reduced by half. Remove from the heat, stir in the pistou and taste for seasoning. Carve the chicken and serve it with the sauce spooned over.

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