I am enjoying a lovely Sunday lunchtime. My chicken dish is bubbling happily on the stove and the kids are playing in the garden. This is the first meal of my new storecupboard challenge, and one of the easiest as its a one pot dish and takes 20 minutes to prepare and about half an hour or so to cook. I've no doubt the dishes will get more difficult as the week goes on and will require a little ingenuity. The key to making meals go further this week is to use a whole chicken over breasts or portions as you can make a stock with the carcass and you will envariably have enough left over for a light lunch the following day. I served rice as an accompaniment today but you could use potatoes, peas and carrots if you wish. The chicken is jointed into pieces (for saute as we would say in the trade) and if you are not happy doing this i'm sure your butcher will do it for you (just don't ask at the supermarket counter). The sauce is thick and indulgent with cream, mustard and parmesan cheese and perfect for a Sunday lunch. Afternoon nap in the sun essential.
Chicken with spinach, mustard and cream
1 whole chicken, jointed (make a simple stock with the carcass for later in the week, simmer with an onion and carrot for 1 hour)
150ml double cream
handful of washed spinach leaves
300ml chicken stock
25g grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp chopped parsley
oil for frying
1) In a non stick frying pan brown the chicken pieces and transfer to a large pan. In the frying pan cook the onions and garlic for a few minutes. If you have any white wine or vermouth handy then pop a splash in and reduce (by no means essential). Now add the mustard and chicken stock and then pour this over the chicken pieces in the large pan.
2) Bring the liquid to the boil and then simmer for 20 - 25 minutes with a lid on. Check the chicken is cooked (check the thigh pieces as they take longest) and remove it to a plate while you finish the sauce.
3) Bring the liquid to a rapid boil to reduce the volume by half. Add the cream and simmer until thick. Add the spinach, it will only take a minute to wilt, and then add the parmesan cheese. Put the chicken pieces back into the sauce to warm, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.