Chicken à la Rue Des Vignes

Now I bet you are dying to hear the story behind this little mid-week supper beauty with a name like that!! It should really be poulet but I can’t possibly change the name now after 20 odd years. 

At university, some time ago now when the dinosaurs were roaming-my children’s favourite comment at the moment…I was on placement in Paris, living in the 16th arrondissement in a beautiful, tiny flat with two great friends.  I was the only girl so most of the cooking was down to me, (which frankly was fine as there’s only so many bowls of pasta pesto a girl can eat) and this was one of the favourite house dishes I used to cook up.  We were one of the few houses amongst our friends that had a decent sized table we could all squeeze round so we could entertain other uni mates.  Many a raucous night was had chez Rue Des Vignes.  I have very fond memories of our time living there so this was named in honour of that.

The dish is a great one to enjoy all year round.  Warming on a cool autumn evening, served with a pile of steaming greens or alternatively on an evening like we are having now in the summer served with a dressed, crisp green salad, and a hunk of French bread.  It is super simple and literally takes 30 minutes to prepare and then the oven does the rest.  Make sure you really get all those deliciously sticky bits from the chicken off the bottom of the pan when you add the cider, as this really adds delicious depth to the flavour of the sauce.

In our house we like this supper to be quite saucy, but you can use between 250-440ml cider depending on your taste. This goes for the mustard too, only add 1 tbsp if you want quite a mellow sauce but equally the sauce can take 2 tbsp happily, giving a little more of a kick.  The ingredients are so simple, yet the creamy combination is a winner.  You’ve probably got them all in your pantry and fridge already so no excuses chaps, get going.

Fondest love,Lucy xx

Ps if anyone actually tries out one of my recipes please do tag me on @lucyhoylecooks it would be lovely to see them!

Chicken à la Rue Des Vignes

Serves 5

Olive oil

5 boneless chicken thighs (if using bone in, they might just need a little longer cooking time)

450g chestnut mushrooms, quartered (or closed cup if that’s what you have)

1 large onion, thinly sliced

400g new potatoes, cut into slices

250-440ml cider

2 tbsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp single cream

Roughly chopped parsley to serve

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 C.  Using a cast iron, lidded Le Creuset like shallow casserole dish (or a frying pan) add a tbsp of olive oil over a medium heat.  Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and put in the pan, skin side down and cook for 5-6 minutes until they are just starting to colour.
  2. Take the chicken out using a slotted spoon and set aside.  Add the quartered mushrooms to the pan, season with a little salt and pepper and cook until slightly golden, add to the chicken.
  3. Next put another tbsp of olive oil into the pan and add the potatoes and onions, cook for 5-6 minutes, before adding the mustard and cider, stirring carefully to get all those sticky scraps from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, then put the chicken and mushrooms back into the pan, lid on and into the oven for 25-30 minutes, making sure the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes tender when you take it out.  If you have been using a frying pan, transfer it to an oven proof dish, with a lid before baking.

Just before serving stir in the cream, and scatter the parsley over. Oven to table in an hour-winner winner chicken dinner.

Variations…omit the potatoes, use a little less cider and then serve with a jacket potato…or try with wholeegrain rice or quinoa-the options are endless!A great freezer dish too, and one that can easily be doubled for bigger groups.  Once cooled, freeze (labelled of course) making sure when you defrost the dish it is heated through till piping hot.

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