3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 (about 1.2 kg) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 white onions, peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 leeks, trimmed and chopped
4 sprigs fresh tarragon
1 celery stick, trimmed and sliced
1 bouquet garni
1 large ripe tomato, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
200ml muscat vinegar or slightly sweet white wine vinegar
1 litre chicken stock
green salad; boiled or mashed potatoes
1Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or cast-iron casserole dish. Add chicken pieces skin-side down, in batches if necessary, and sauté, turning occasionally, until skin is golden brown or for about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a bowl.
2 Add onions, garlic, leeks, tarragon, celery and bouquet garni and sauté for 10-12 minutes until softened.
3Add tomato and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4Add chicken pieces back into saucepan. Pour in vinegar and chicken stock. Bring to the boil then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken and vegetables are tender and liquid has reduced and thickened. Allow to cool before serving with green salad and boiled or mashed potatoes.
This collection of fresh spring chicken recipes gives little opportunity to break out a red but this intensely flavoured dish is the chance. A bold, tannic red would knock the chicken off its perch but a lithe-framed, red-fruited style would be perfect. A juicy gamay would be good or a delicate pinot noir would work well. However, Alex McKay’s latest Landfall takes pinot noir’s rustic cousin, meunier to new heights with abundant strawberry flavours. The touch of wood-smoke from the (25%) whole-bunch ferment makes a nice interplay with the tarragon, leaving the Landfall’s brisk acidity to play-off with the splash of vinegar in the sauce. Cool the pinot meunier on a warm day.