Grandmother’s Chicken Stew

10:18 pm on 4 May 2007

This moist flavoursome stew is a meal in itself, but could also be accompanied with spinach or followed by a leafy salad. If you have time, first make a little stock using the bones and skin to use in the stew. The chicken is thoroughly browned in a frying pan to develop a rich flavour, before combining with the vegetables which have already been partly cooked in butter.

(Serves 2)


  • thighs, drumsticks and wings of 1 free range chicken.
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 rashers bacon, sliced finely
  • 1 large onion or several shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium all purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 small celeriac, or 1 celery rib, peeled and cut into chunks
  • thyme leaves
  • 20 button mushrooms
  • chicken stock or water
  • chopped fresh parsley


Remove the skin and bones from the chicken thighs and drumsticks. Divide the wings into joints. Season well with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and over moderate heat, thoroughly brown the chicken pieces all over, by which time the chicken will be almost cooked.

While the chicken is browning, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan or casserole dish and gently fry the bacon, onion and garlic. Stir in the potato and celeriac (or celery), season with thyme leaves, salt and pepper and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the browned chicken. Add a little chicken stock or water to the frying pan, scrape up the residues and add to the chicken and vegetables. Add enough extra chicken stock to almost cover the chicken and vegetables. Simmer until everything is very tender, about 20 minutes, or put in the oven set to 160C. Stir in chopped parsley and serve hot.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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