Chicken, spelt and wild garlic pilaf

Serves 4-6

2tbsp vegetable or corn oil
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
12 chicken thighs, boned, skinned, quartered
180g spelt, soaked in water for 4-5 hours
1.5ltrs chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
150g chicken livers, cleaned and halved
A handful of wild garlic leaves, washed, torn
100g butter
Preheat the oven to 175C/gas mark 4.

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy based, oven proof pan. Season the chicken and fry on a medium heat with the onions until lightly coloured.

Drain and add the spelt and chicken stock, bring to a simmer then cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and give it a stir and check how the spelt is doing. It can take quite a bit longer than rice; if it's still very firm return to the oven for another 15 minutes and add a little more stock if it's dry.

Heat a little vegetable oil and a knob of butter in a heavy frying pan, season the livers and cook them briefly on a very high heat, turning them in the pan as they are cooking until they are nicely coloured, then transfer to a plate.

When the spelt is tender, stir in the livers, wild garlic and butter and re-season if necessary. The dish should have a moist consistency but not quite as sloppy as risotto; add more stock if necessary.

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