This delicious Canadian recipe takes quite a long time to cook, but it is not difficult to prepare. The young vegetables give it a wonderful, fresh flavour and it needs no accompaniments. The cooking liquid may be reserved as stock.
1 X 6 lb. chicken, oven-ready
2½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons brandy
2 oz. butter
1 lb. lean bacon, diced
3 pints boiling water
2 large onions, sliced
4 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
2 teaspoon dried savory
2 small white cabbage, coarse outer leaves removed, washed and cut into
8 small carrots, scraped
8 pickling (pearl) onions
8 new potatoes, scrubbed
1 lb. French beans, trimmed
3 fl. oz. brandy
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 oz. beurre manic
Rub die chicken all over with ½ teaspoon of the salt, the pepper, nutmeg and thyme. Using a pastry brush, brush the inside of the chicken with the brandy.
In a very large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the bacon and fry, stirring constantly, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the bacon is lightly browned all over. Place the chicken in the saucepan and fry for 10 minutes, turning frequently, or until it is golden brown on all sides. Pour over the water and add the onions, celery, savory and 1 teaspoon of the remaining salt. Bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for ½ hours. Add the cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, beans and the remaining salt.
Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the chicken and veg- etables are tender. Remove the pan from the heat. Using two large forks, transfer the chicken to a carving board and cut the flesh into |-inch cubes, discarding the bones and skin. Transfer the diced chicken flesh to a very large, warmed serving dish. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables and bacon to the serving dish, piling the vegetables around the chicken flesh. Set aside and keep warm while you prepare the sauce.
Pour 16 fluid ounces of the cooking liquid into a small saucepan (reserve the remaining liquid for future use if liked).
Place the pan over moderate heat. Add the brandy, parsley and chives. Reduce the heat to low and gradually add the beurre manic, a little at a time, and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and fairly thick.
Remove the pan from the heat. Pour half of the sauce over the chicken and half into a warmed sauceboat. Serve imme- diately, with the sauce handed round separately.