March seemed to be on track to follow the old saying; “in like a lion, out like a lamb”. That was until the final week when the wind picked up and twice I found myself picking up the contents of my recycling bin from the garden. I needed something warming to lift the spirits and what better than a stew? I cooked the chicken whole in the broth to extract as much flavour as possible and it really adds an extra dimension to the dish. Homemade chicken stock is a big bonus here if you have it and feel free to swap the cannellini beans for butter beans, I would have if I hadn’t picked up the wrong tin!
2 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Leeks (finely sliced)
2 Carrots (chopped)
2 sticks of Celery (chopped)
1 litre of Chicken Stock (hot)
1 whole Organic or Free-Range Chicken
1 tsp Dried Marjoram
1 Bay Leaf
1 sprig of Thyme
4 medium Potatoes (peeled and chopped)
150g Sugar Snap Peas
1 tin (400g) of Cannellini Beans
100g Kale (remove stems and shred leaves)
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the leek, carrot and celery. Season well and cook for 8-10 minutes before adding the chicken stock and one litre of boiling water. Bring to the boil.
2. Place the Chicken in the pot and season the top of it. Add the marjoram, bay leaf, thyme and potatoes. Season with a little salt and pepper before covering with a lid and simmering for an hour.
3. After an hour the chicken should be well cooked but check with a thermometer if unsure. Remove it from the pot and add the lentils, sugar snaps, beans and kale. Remove the skin from the chicken and chop all of the meat into bite sized chunks. When chopped, add the chicken pieces back to the pot and cook for about twenty minutes from the time the lentils went in. Check for seasoning and serve.