Poulet aux Cerises

A sweet and succulent sauce accompanies Poulet aux Cerises (poo-lay oh s’rees). A mixed salad, small roast potatoes and a well-chilled bottle of white Graves wine would round off the meal to perfection.

1×4 lb. chicken

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary or

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 oz. butter

8 fl. oz. chicken stock

14 oz. canned stoned Morello cherries, drained and with

6 fl. oz. of the can juice reserved 2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons cornflour dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 °F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Rub the chicken, inside and out, with the salt, pepper and rosemary. Set aside.

In a large flameproof casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the chicken and cook, turning it frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes or until it is evenly browned. Pour over the stock and bring to the boil. Cover the casserole and place it in the centre of the oven. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the chicken is tender.

Remove the casserole from the oven. Using two large forks, lift the chicken out of the casserole and transfer it to a warmed serving dish. Keep warm.

With a metal spoon, skim off any fat from the surface of the juices in the casserole. Pour the liquid through a fine wire strainer into a small saucepan.

Place the saucepan over moderate heat and add the reserved cherry juice and the lemon juice. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.

Stir in the dissolved cornflour . Reduce the heat to low. Simmer the sauce, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until it has thickened.

Add the drained cherries to the sauce and continue cooking for 2 minutes or until the cherries are heated through.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour half of the sauce over the chicken. Pour the remaining sauce into a warmed sauceboat and serve immediately, with the chicken.

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