Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Chicken with egg and lemon sauce

4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 free range chicken, cut into 8 pieces or 4 chicken joints, halved
1 carrot, chopped
Bouquet Garni of a few fresh parsley sprigs, 1 bay leaf, and 1 fresh thyme sprig, tied together with string.
5 black peppercorns
4 spring onions, chopped
2 large cos lettuces, outer leaves discarded, thickly shredded
4 tbsp chopped fresh dill
3 eggs
Juice of 2 large lemons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat half the oil in a wide deep frying pan, large enough to take all the chicken comfortably. Add the onion and cook gently until softened. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and reserve. Now raise the heat and brown the chicken pieces all over. Return the onion to the pan, together with the carrot, the bouquet garni, peppercorns and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, leaving just a small gap for steam to escape and simmer gently for about 40 min, until the chicken is very tender.
When the chicken is nearly done, heat the remaining olive oil in another wide frying pan. Add the spring onions and sauté for about a min, then add the lettuce, cover and leave to soften and wilt for about 2-4 min, before stirring in the dill, salt and pepper. Lift the chicken out of it’s pan of stock, and lay on the lettuce and dill mixture. Keep warm.
Skim off as much fat as you can from the cooking liquid, then strain and measure out 450ml (15 fl oz) and reheat until almost but not quite boiling. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs together lightly, then whisk in the lemon juice. Gradually add the cooking liquid, whisking constantly. When it is all incorporated, pour over the chicken, then return the whole lot to a very gentle heat and let it heat through for about 3 – 4 min without letting it come anywhere near the boiling point. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve with rice.

This was from a book I found at a church book sale for less then a buck. Good stuff. It’s called Sophie Grigson’s Sunshine Food, and it’s all Mediterranean recipes.

This one caught my eye because the smell of dill and lemon alone makes my mouth water, so I figured I had to try it.

It looked like it might be complicated, but after reading it a couple of times I realized that it’s just in parts. It’s making chicken, wilting a vegetable, and making a gravy. It’s all spaced out very easily so nothing gets overwhelming. In the end it was actually really easy.

I did make one huge mistake though. I didn’t make rice. This was a bit of a tragedy really. The sauce is very thin, and very delicious and it really needs to be poured over something.

The egg/lemon sauce was a new one for me. I have seen variations of it before, and had always been meaning to try it. I had assumed that the eggs would make it a thick sauce, but it was very light and summery. It’s a bit tough because you have to heat it without letting it boil, but it wasn’t such a hardship in the end. I would make an egg/lemon sauce again.

It was also the first time I ever cooked lettuce. I knew you could, I just never knew why you would. I was really pleasently surprised to find out that I like cooked lettuce. It's very tasty, and it manages to keep some of it's crunch too.

Also, my husband loved this meal!

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