A main course finalist in Great British Menu series 4 ...
For the chicken:
Lightly salt the chickens and leave them overnight. Remove the legs and crown of the chicken and place in separate roasting trays. Cover both the crown and the legs in the duck fat, with the herbs and garlic split between the two. Place in an oven at 130 C and confit the legs for 1 ¼ hours until tender and the crown for 40 minutes. Remove and cool. Cut the legs into two and remove the breasts from the carcass. Retain the carcass to make gravy.
For the sage and onion:
Chop the onions very finely and sweat down in a little oil without colour. Add the sage and set aside.
For the bread sauce:
Bring the milk, onion and cloves to the boil then simmer on a low heat, leave to infuse for half an hour. Mix in the bread crumbs until you achieve a smooth, creamy consistency, and set aside.
For the vegetables:
Peel the baby carrots leaving the green tops on. Trim the baby leeks. Slice the courgettes into 1 ½ inch slices. Wash the turnips and radishes. Blanch all the vegetables until cooked al dente and set aside.
To continue the chicken:
Crisp up the chicken skin by placing each portion skin-down into a non stick pan with a little olive oil. Turn over the meat and add a knob of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cook for 1 minute longer, then set aside.
For the light chicken stock :
Chop the wing bones into 3, chop the neck of the carcass & put into a shallow roasting tray with a little oil and garlic. Roast in the oven until the bones turn golden brown then take the roasting tray from the oven and put on the hob. Add the wine to the tray and deglaze with the wine. When the alcohol has burned off add the stock and bring everything to the boil, scraping all the goodness from the bottom of the tray as you go. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until you have reached a gravy consistency. Pour the gravy through a fine sieve, pushing it through with a ladle. Discard the bones and gizzards and pass through a fine sieve again into a jug. Transfer neatly to little gravy dishes ready to serve.
To serve :
Slice the baby turnips in half and warm all of the vegetables in a pan with a little butter and a squeeze of lemon juice. Divide evenly between 4 plates in a circle around the plate.
Arrange a chicken leg and a chicken breast in the centre of the vegetables and spoon a line of the sage & onion on top of the chicken breast. Serve the bread sauce and gravy on the side in small gravy dishes.
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