This recipe is so typically Nigel Slater, very simple ingredients, comforting, delicious and incorporating plenty of butter and cream.
I’m a big fan of Nigel Slater, I have his new book (or is it a tomb?) Tender, which is just magnificent and so much more than a recipe book, in fact not really a recipe book at all but more of a food and gardening book full of inspiration.
This particular recipe, however, comes from an older book of his called The 30-minute Cook. It’s a great little book full of recipes you could see yourself knocking up any day of the week without too much faff, but knowing that you’ll enjoy the end product.
This recipe is quick enough to make after work but delicious and impressive enough to serve on the weekend if you’re having friends or family round. It is rich and decadent with a soft texture thanks to the slosh of double cream in the sauce. Sweet, garlicy, creamy, filling and moorish – I urge you to give this one a go.
Although this recipe would have been quick anyway I adapted it to make it even quicker (I was starving the night I made it) by slicing the chicken breast into pieces. A good tip is to take the cream out of the fridge before you start cooking or find some way to warm it up a bit to stop the sauce splitting. The boiling of the garlic cloves is essential and if you haven’t tried it before make sure you give this a go because it gives the cloves a wonderful sweet flavour that won’t overpower the dish, hence you can use plenty of them.
Serves 2 people who aren’t on a diet
2 chicken breasts, skin off, sliced into strips
4-8 garlic cloves whole – don’t panic it will taste great
Good large knob of unsalted butter
A bay leaf, if you have one knocking about
100ml dry cider
100ml double cream
Drop the garlic cloves, skin on, into a pan of boiling water and blanch for 4 minutes. Scoop them out, allow to cool a little then pop them out of their shells and set to one side.
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan then add the butter and let it melt, fry the chicken pieces until they start to brown. Add the garlic cloves whole and the bay leaf, turn the heat down and allow the chicken pieces to cook through. Pour in the cider and allow it to sizzle and reduce to barely a two or three tablespoons, meanwhile mush the garlic cloves into the liquid so you have a golden slush. Pour in the cream, season and warm it all through. You are left with a wonderful thick golden sauce that clings to the chicken.
I served mine with crispy herby potato cubes and kale, gently wilted with some butter. Yum.