Slowly Does It... (2015)

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One-pot Chicken

Slow-braised Garlic Chicken

Stoved Chicken

Classic Coq au Vin

Chicken Cacciatore

Alsace Chicken

Chicken with Green Olives & Lemons

Chicken with Fennel & Tarragon

Chicken & Coconut Curry

Chicken & Vegetable Hotpot

Oven-baked Chicken with Garlic Potatoes

Herb Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Jambalaya

Classic Paella

Spiced Chicken Pilau

Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas

Spiced One-pot Chicken

Caribbean Chicken

Chicken Curry

Chicken & Pork Terrine

Clementine & Sage Turkey with Madeira Gravy

Lemon & Parsley Butter Roast Turkey

Goose with Roasted Apples

Pot-roasted Pheasant with Red Cabbage

Rabbit Casserole with Prunes

Braised Guinea Fowl & Red Cabbage

Peppered Winter Stew

Poacher’s Pie

One-pot Chicken

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 1 hour 40 minutes • Serves 6 • Per Serving 474 calories, 33g fat (of which 9g saturates), 6g carbohydrate, 0.6g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, cut into wedges

2 rindless streaky bacon rashers, chopped

1 chicken, about 1.6kg (3½lb)

6 carrots

2 small turnips, cut into wedges

1 garlic clove, crushed

bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, a few fresh parsley and thyme sprigs)

600ml (1 pint) hot chicken stock

100ml (3½fl oz) dry white wine

12 button mushrooms

3 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley

salt and ground black pepper

mashed potatoes to serve (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a non-stick flameproof casserole, then add the onion and bacon and fry for 5 minutes or until golden. Remove and set aside.

2. Add the whole chicken to the casserole and fry for 10 minutes, turning carefully to brown all over. Remove and set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Add the carrots, turnips and garlic to the casserole. Fry for 5 minutes, then add the bacon and onion. Put the chicken back into the casserole, add the bouquet garni, hot stock and wine and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pan and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

4. Remove the casserole from the oven and add the mushrooms. Baste the chicken, then re-cover and cook for a further 50 minutes.

5. Lift out the chicken, then stir the parsley into the cooking liquid. Carve the chicken and serve with the vegetables and cooking liquid, and mashed potatoes, if you like.

TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Use chicken pieces such as drumsticks or thighs, reducing the cooking time in step 4 to 20 minutes.

Slow-braised Garlic Chicken

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Preparation Time 30 minutes, plus cooling • Cooking time about 2 hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 506 calories, 28g fat (of which 9g saturates), 10g carbohydrate, 1g salt • Easy

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme

125g (4oz) chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped

6 whole chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs)

18 thin slices pancetta

2 tbsp plain flour

25g (1oz) butter

18 small shallots

12 garlic cloves, unpeeled but split

750ml bottle full-bodied white wine, such as Chardonnay

2 bay leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan. Add the thyme and mushrooms and fry until the moisture has evaporated. Season with salt and ground black pepper and leave to cool.

2. Loosen the skin away from one chicken leg and spoon a little of the mushroom paste underneath. Season the leg all over with salt and pepper, then wrap three pancetta slices around the thigh end. Repeat with the remaining chicken legs, then dust using 1 tbsp of the flour.

3. Melt the butter in a frying pan with the remaining oil over a high heat. Fry the chicken legs, in batches, seam side down, until golden. Turn the legs and brown the other side – the browning should take 8–10 minutes per batch, then transfer to a casserole.

4. Put the shallots and garlic into the frying pan and cook for 10 minutes or until browned. Sprinkle with the remaining flour and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and bring to the boil, stirring. Pour into the casserole with the chicken and add the bay leaves. Cover and cook in the oven for 1½ hours. Serve hot.

FREEZE AHEAD

To make ahead and freeze, complete the recipe. Cool quickly, then freeze in an airtight container for up to one month. To use, thaw overnight at cool room temperature. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan oven) mark 7. Put the chicken back into the casserole and reheat in the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4 and cook for a further 25 minutes.

Stoved Chicken

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time about 2½ hours • Serves 4 • Per Serving 854 calories, 45g fat (of which 14g saturates), 55g carbohydrate, 3g salt • Easy

25g (1oz) butter, plus a little extra

1 tbsp vegetable oil

4 chicken quarters, halved

125g (4oz) lean back bacon, rind removed and chopped

1.1kg (2½lb) floury potatoes, such as King Edward, cut into 5mm (¼in) slices

2 large onions, sliced

2 tsp freshly chopped thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme

600ml (1 pint) hot chicken stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

snipped fresh chives to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan oven) mark 2. Heat half the butter and the oil in a large frying pan and fry the chicken and bacon for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

2. Layer half the potato slices, then half the onion slices in the bottom of a large casserole. Season well, add the thyme and dot with half the remaining butter.

3. Add the chicken and bacon, season to taste and dot with the remaining butter. Cover with the remaining onions and finally a layer of potatoes. Season and dot with a little more butter. Pour the hot stock over.

4. Cover and cook in the oven for about 2½ hours until the chicken is tender and the potatoes are cooked, adding a little more hot stock if necessary.

5. Just before serving, sprinkle with snipped chives.

Classic Coq au Vin

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time about 2¼ hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 740 calories, 44g fat (of which 17g saturates), 26g carbohydrate, 1.8g salt • Easy

1 large chicken, jointed, or 6–8 chicken joints

2 tbsp well-seasoned flour

100g (3½oz) butter

125g (4oz) lean bacon, diced

1 medium onion, quartered

1 medium carrot, quartered

4 tbsp brandy

600ml (1 pint) red wine

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 bouquet garni (2 bay leaves, a few fresh parsley and thyme sprigs)

1 tsp sugar

2 tbsp vegetable oil

450g (1lb) button onions

a pinch of sugar

1 tsp wine vinegar

225g (8oz) button mushrooms

6 slices white bread, crusts removed

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Coat the chicken pieces with 1 tbsp of the seasoned flour. Melt 25g (1oz) of the butter in a flameproof casserole. Add the chicken and fry until golden brown on all sides. Add the bacon, onion quarters and carrot and fry until softened.

2. Heat the brandy in a small pan, pour over the chicken and ignite, shaking the pan. Pour in the wine and stir to dislodge any sediment from the bottom of the casserole. Add the garlic, bouquet garni and sugar cube and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1–1½ hours until the chicken is cooked through.

3. Meanwhile, melt 25g (1oz) of the butter with 1 tsp of the oil in a frying pan. Add the button onions and fry until they begin to brown. Add the sugar and vinegar together with 1 tbsp water. Cover and simmer for 10–15 minutes until just tender. Keep warm.

4. Melt 25g (1oz) of the butter with 2 tsp of the oil in a pan. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes, then turn off the heat and keep warm. Remove the chicken from the casserole and place in a dish. Surround with the onions and mushrooms and keep hot.

5. Discard the bouquet garni. Skim the excess fat from the cooking liquid, then boil for 3–5 minutes until reduced. Add the remaining oil to the fat in the frying pan and fry the bread until golden brown on both sides. Cut each slice into triangles.

6. Work the remaining butter and flour together to make a beurre manié. Take the casserole off the heat and add small pieces of the beurre manié to the liquid. Stir until smooth, then put back on the hob and bring just to the boil. The sauce should be thick and shiny. Take off the heat and season. Put the chicken, onions and mushrooms back into the casserole and stir. Serve with the fried bread.

Chicken Cacciatore

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Preparation Time 5 minutes • Cooking Time 40 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 327 calories, 17g fat (of which 4g saturates), 3g carbohydrate, 1.3g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

2 tbsp olive oil

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried tarragon

150ml (¼ pint) white wine

400g can chopped tomatoes

12 pitted black olives

12 capers, rinsed and drained

ground black pepper

brown rice and broad beans or peas to serve

1. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole over a high heat. Add the chicken and brown all over. Reduce the heat and add the garlic, thyme, tarragon and wine to the casserole. Stir for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes and season with pepper.

2. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the casserole and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

3. Lift the chicken out of the casserole and put to one side. Bubble the sauce for 5 minutes or until thickened, add the olives and capers, stir well and cook for a further 2–3 minutes.

4. Put the chicken into the sauce. Serve with brown rice and broad beans or peas.

Alsace Chicken

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 1 hour 20 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 484 calories, 24g fat (of which 8g saturates), 11g carbohydrate, 1.4g salt • Easy

2 tbsp vegetable oil

8 chicken pieces (such as breasts, thighs and drumsticks)

125g (4oz) rindless smoked streaky bacon rashers, cut into strips

12 shallots, peeled but left whole

3 fresh tarragon sprigs

1 tbsp plain flour

150ml (¼ pint) Alsace Riesling white wine

500ml (18fl oz) hot chicken stock

3 tbsp crème fraîche

salt and ground black pepper

new potatoes (optional) and green vegetables to serve

1. Heat half the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the chicken, in batches, until golden, adding more oil to the pan as necessary. Set aside.

2. Put the bacon into the same pan and fry gently to release its fat. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until both the shallots and bacon are lightly coloured.

3. Strip the leaves from the tarragon and set both the leaves and stalks aside. Sprinkle the flour over the shallots and bacon and stir to absorb the juices. Cook for 1 minute, then gradually add the wine, hot stock and tarragon stalks. Put the chicken back into the pan, cover and simmer over a gentle heat for 45 minutes–1 hour until the chicken is cooked through.

4. Remove the chicken, bacon and shallots with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Discard the tarragon stalks. Bubble the sauce until reduced by half. Stir in the crème fraîche and tarragon leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Turn off the heat, put the chicken, bacon and shallots back into the pan and stir to combine. Serve with new potatoes, if you like, and green vegetables.

Chicken with Green Olives & Lemons

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time about 1 hour 20 minutes • Serves 6 • Per Serving 347 calories, 22g fat (of which 5g saturates), 7g carbohydrate, 0.9g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

½ tsp each ground turmeric, ginger and coriander

1½ tbsp plain flour

6 chicken legs, with skin on

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

100ml (3½fl oz) manzanilla or fino sherry

900ml (1½ pints) hot chicken stock

3 preserved lemons

75g (3oz) green olives, sliced

juice of ½ lemon

salt and ground black pepper

1. Put the spices and flour into a polythene bag and season. Add the chicken and shake until covered with the flour mixture. Shake off the excess and set aside any leftover flour.

2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Fry the chicken in batches until golden. Avoid overcrowding the pan, as it will lower the temperature and the chicken won’t brown. Remove the chicken and set aside.

3. Put the remaining oil into the same pan and cook the onion over a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn up the heat to medium and add the leftover flour. Cook for 1 minute, stirring to soak up the oil. Scrape up any browned bits from the base of the pan – these will add flavour. Gradually stir in the sherry (it will bubble and thicken), followed by the hot stock.

4. Halve the lemons, scrape out the pulp and discard. Add the peel to the pan along with the chicken. Cover the pan and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes. Stir in the olives and cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is done – the juices should run clear when you pierce the flesh with a knife.

5. Remove the chicken, olives, onions and lemons with a slotted spoon (don’t worry if you leave some onion behind) and keep them warm. Turn up the heat and boil the sauce rapidly until it reduces by about one-third and turns syrupy. Taste and add more seasoning if it needs it, along with the lemon juice.

6. Return the chicken, olives, onion and lemons to the casserole and serve from the dish.

COOK’S TIP

If you have leftover preserved lemons, the next time you roast a whole chicken pop a couple inside the bird along with a few thyme sprigs.

Chicken with Fennel & Tarragon

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 45–55 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 334 calories, 26g fat (of which 15g saturates), 3g carbohydrate, 0.5g salt • Gluten Free • Easy

1 tbsp olive oil

4 chicken thighs

1 onion, finely chopped

1 fennel bulb, sliced

juice of ½ lemon

200ml (7fl oz) hot chicken stock

200g (7oz) half-fat crème fraîche

1 small bunch of tarragon, roughly chopped

wild rice to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the chicken thighs and fry for 5 minutes or until brown, then remove and set them aside to keep warm.

2. Add the onion to the pan and fry for 5 minutes, then add the fennel and cook for 5–10 minutes until softened.

3. Add the lemon juice to the pan, then add the hot stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.

4. Stir in the crème fraîche and return the chicken to the pan. Stir once to mix, then cover and cook in the oven for 25–30 minutes. Stir the tarragon into the sauce and serve with wild rice.

Chicken & Coconut Curry

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 35 minutes • Serves 6 • Per Serving 204 calories, 6g fat (of which 1g saturates), 10g carbohydrate, 1.5g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 onion, quartered

1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed and halved

2.5cm (1in) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and halved

2 small hot chillies

a small handful of fresh coriander

1 tsp ground coriander

grated zest and juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp vegetable oil

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut into three pieces

2 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped

2 tbsp Thai fish sauce

900ml (1½ pints) coconut milk

salt and ground black pepper

finely sliced red chilli to garnish

basmati rice to serve

1. Put the garlic, onion, lemongrass, ginger, chillies, fresh coriander, ground coriander and lime zest and juice into a food processor and whiz to a paste. Add a little water if the mixture gets stuck under the blades.

2. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the spice paste and cook over a fairly high heat for 3–4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to coat in the spice mixture.

3. Add the tomatoes, fish sauce and coconut milk. Simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with red chilli and serve with basmati rice.

Chicken & Vegetable Hotpot

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Preparation Time 5 minutes • Cooking Time 30 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 338 calories, 14g fat (of which 3g saturates), 14g carbohydrate, 1.2g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

4 chicken breasts, with skin on, about 125g (4oz) each

2 large parsnips, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

300ml (½ pint) ready-made gravy

125g (4oz) cabbage, shredded

ground black pepper

1. Heat a non-stick frying pan or flameproof casserole until hot. Add the chicken breasts, skin side down, and cook for 5–6 minutes. Turn them over, add the parsnips and carrots and cook for a further 7–8 minutes.

2. Pour the gravy over the chicken and vegetables, then cover the pan and cook gently for 10 minutes.

3. Season with pepper and stir in the cabbage, then cover and continue to cook for 4–5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, the cabbage has wilted and the vegetables are tender. Serve hot.

Oven-baked Chicken with Garlic Potatoes

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 1½ hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 376 calories, 16g fat (of which 5g saturates), 32g carbohydrate, 1.2g salt • Easy

2 medium baking potatoes, thinly sliced

a little freshly grated nutmeg

600ml (1 pint) white sauce (use a ready-made sauce or make your own, Cook’s Tip)

½ × 390g can fried onions

250g (9oz) frozen peas

450g (1lb) cooked chicken, shredded

20g pack garlic butter, sliced

a little butter to grease

salt and ground black pepper

granary bread to serve (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. Layer half the potatoes over the base of a 2.4 litre (4¼ pint) shallow ovenproof dish and season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour the white sauce over and shake the dish, so that the sauce settles through the gaps in the potatoes.

2. Spread half the onions on top, then scatter on half the peas. Arrange the shredded chicken on top, then add the remaining peas and onions. Finish with the remaining potatoes, arranged in an even layer, and dot with garlic butter. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Cover tightly with buttered foil and cook for 1 hour. Turn up the heat to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6, remove the foil and continue to cook for 20–30 minutes until the potatoes are golden and tender. Serve with granary bread, if you like, to mop up the juices.

COOK’S TIP

White Sauce

To make 600ml (1 pint) white sauce, melt 25g (1oz) butter in a pan, then stir in 25g (1oz) plain flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually pour in 600ml (1 pint) milk, beating after each addition. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened and is velvety and smooth. Season with salt, black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.

Herb Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

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Preparation Time 15 minutes, plus marinating • Cooking Time 40 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 453 calories, 29g fat (of which 7g saturates), 10g carbohydrate, 0.3g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

2 garlic cloves

25g (1oz) fresh basil

25g (1oz) fresh mint

8 fresh lemon thyme sprigs

4 tbsp olive oil

4 whole chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs)

1 small aubergine, chopped

200g (7oz) baby plum tomatoes

2 red peppers, seeded and chopped

2 courgettes, sliced

juice of 1 lemon

salt and ground black pepper

green salad to serve

1. Put the garlic, two-thirds of the basil and mint and the leaves from 4 lemon thyme sprigs into a food processor and whiz, adding half the oil gradually until the mixture forms a thick paste. (Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle.)

2. Rub the paste over the chicken legs, then put into a bowl. Cover, then chill and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Put the aubergine, plum tomatoes, red peppers and courgettes into a large roasting tin with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Add the chicken and roast for 30–40 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the chicken cooked through.

4. Squeeze the lemon juice over and stir in the remaining herbs. Serve immediately with a crisp green salad.

Jambalaya

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time about 50 minutes, plus standing • Serves 4 • Per Serving 558 calories, 25g fat (of which 6g saturates), 49g carbohydrate, 0g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

2 tbsp olive oil

300g (11oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks

75g (3oz) French sausage, such as saucisse sèche, chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

225g (8oz) long-grain rice

1 tbsp tomato purée

2 tsp Cajun spice mix

500ml (18fl oz) hot chicken stock

1 bay leaf

4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped

200g (7oz) raw tiger prawns, peeled and deveined (Cook’s Tip)

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan and fry the chicken and sausage over a medium heat until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Add the remaining oil to the pan with the celery and onion. Fry gently for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are softened but not coloured. Tip in the rice and stir for 1 minute to coat in the oil. Add the tomato purée and spice mix and cook for another 2 minutes.

3. Pour in the hot stock and return the browned chicken and sausage to the pan with the bay leaf and tomatoes. Simmer for 20–25 minutes until the stock has been fully absorbed and the rice is cooked.

4. Stir in the prawns and cover the pan. Leave to stand for 10 minutes or until the prawns have turned pink. Serve immediately.

COOK’S TIPS

To devein prawns, pull off the head and discard (or put to one side and use later for making stock). Using pointed scissors, cut through the soft shell on the belly side. Prise off the shell, leaving the tail attached. (The shell can also be used later for making stock.) Using a small sharp knife, make a shallow cut along the back of the prawn. Using the point of the knife, remove and discard the black vein (the intestinal tract) that runs along the back of the prawn.

Classic Paella

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Preparation Time 15 minutes, plus infusing • Cooking Time 50 minutes • Serves 6 • Per Serving 554 calories, 16g fat (of which 3g saturates), 58g carbohydrate, 0.5g salt • Dairy Free • A Little Effort

1 litre (1¾ pints) chicken stock

½ tsp saffron threads

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 large garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp paprika

2 red peppers, seeded and sliced

400g can chopped tomatoes

350g (12oz) long-grain rice

200ml (7fl oz) dry sherry

500g (1lb 2oz) cooked mussels

200g (7oz) cooked tiger prawns

juice of ½ lemon

salt and ground black pepper

lemon wedges and fresh flat-leafed parsley to serve

1. Heat the stock, then add the saffron and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cut each chicken thigh into three pieces.

2. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and, working in batches, fry the chicken for 3–5 minutes until pale golden brown. Set the chicken aside.

3. Reduce the heat slightly and add the remaining oil. Fry the onion for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and paprika and stir for 1 minute. Add the chicken, red peppers and tomatoes.

4. Stir in the rice, then add one-third of the stock and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring continuously, until most of the liquid is absorbed.

6. Add the remaining stock a little at a time, letting it become absorbed into the rice before adding more – this should take about 25 minutes. Add the sherry and continue cooking for another 2 minutes – the rice should be quite wet, as it will continue to absorb liquid.

7. Add the mussels and prawns to the pan, including all their juices, with the lemon juice. Stir them in and cook for 5 minutes to heat through. Adjust the seasoning, then garnish with lemon wedges and fresh parsley and serve.

Spiced Chicken Pilau

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 35–40 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 649 calories, 18g fat (of which 2g saturates), 87g carbohydrate, 2.8g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

50g (2oz) pinenuts

2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp medium curry powder

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 450g (1lb) skinless cooked chicken, cut into strips

350g (12oz) American easy-cook rice

2 tsp salt

a pinch of saffron threads

50g (2oz) sultanas

225g (8oz) ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

1. Spread the pinenuts over a baking sheet and toast under a hot grill until golden brown, turning them frequently. Put to one side.

2. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Remove half the onion mixture and put to one side.

3. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute, then add the chicken and stir. Cook for another 10 minutes if the meat is raw, or for 4 minutes if you’re using cooked chicken, stirring from time to time until browned.

4. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat in the oil, then add 900ml (1½ pints) boiling water, the salt and saffron. Cover the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the reserved onion mixture and the sultanas, tomatoes and pinenuts. Cook for a further 5 minutes to warm through, then serve.

COOK’S TIP

This is a good way to use leftover roast turkey.

Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 50 minutes • Serves 6 • Per Serving 440 calories, 18g fat (of which 6g saturates), 33g carbohydrate, 1g salt • Easy

12 chicken pieces, including thighs, drumsticks and breasts

25g (1oz) butter

1 large onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp harissa paste

a generous pinch of saffron threads

1 tsp salt

1 cinnamon stick

600ml (1 pint) chicken stock

75g (3oz) raisins

2 × 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

ground black pepper

plain naan or pitta bread to serve

1. Heat a large wide non-stick pan. Add the chicken pieces and fry until well browned all over. Add the butter and, when melted, add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

2. Add the harissa, saffron, salt and cinnamon stick, then season well with pepper. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 25–30 minutes.

3. Add the raisins and chickpeas and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 5–10 minutes.

4. Serve with warm flatbread such as plain naan or pitta.

FREEZING TIP

To freeze Freeze leftover portions separately. Complete the recipe, then cool quickly. Put into a sealable container and freeze for up to three months.

To use Thaw overnight in the fridge. Put into a pan, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, then reheat for 40 minutes or until the chicken is hot right through.

Spiced One-pot Chicken

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Preparation Time 10 minutes, plus marinating • Cooking Time 1 hour 10 minutes • Serves 6 • Per Serving 604 calories, 36g fat (of which 10g saturates), 20g carbohydrate, 0.5g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

3 tbsp Thai red curry paste

150ml (¼ pint) orange juice

2 garlic cloves, crushed

6 chicken pieces, 2.3kg (5lb) total weight, with bone in

700g (1½lb) squash or pumpkin, peeled and cut into 5cm (2in) cubes

5 red onions, quartered

2 tbsp capers, drained and chopped

salt and ground black pepper

1. Combine the curry paste, orange juice and garlic in a bowl. Put the chicken pieces in the marinade and leave to marinate for 15 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan oven) mark 7. Put the vegetables into a large roasting tin, then remove the chicken from the marinade and arrange on top of the vegetables. Pour the marinade over and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything together to cover with the marinade, then scatter with the capers.

3. Cook for 1 hour 10 minutes, turning from time to time, or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is golden.

GET AHEAD

To prepare ahead Complete the recipe to the end of step 2. Cover and chill for up to one day.

To use Complete the recipe, but cook for a further 5–10 minutes.

Caribbean Chicken

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Preparation Time 40 minutes, plus marinating • Cooking Time 45–50 minutes • Serves 5 • Per Serving 617 calories, 39g fat (of which 12g saturates), 25g carbohydrate, 2.1g salt • Easy

10 chicken pieces, such as thighs, drumsticks, wings or breasts, skinned

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp paprika

a pinch of ground nutmeg

1 fresh Scotch bonnet or other hot red chilli, seeded and chopped

1 onion, chopped

5 fresh thyme sprigs

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp light muscovado sugar

350g (12oz) American easy-cook rice

3 tbsp dark rum (optional)

25g (1oz) butter

2 × 300g cans black-eye beans, drained

ground black pepper

a few fresh thyme sprigs to garnish

1. Pierce the chicken pieces with a knife, put into a container and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt, some pepper, the coriander, cumin, paprika and nutmeg. Add the chilli, onion, thyme leaves and garlic. Pour the soy sauce and lemon juice over and stir to combine. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

2. Heat a 3.4 litre (6 pint) heavy-based pan over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the oil and sugar and cook for 3 minutes or until it turns a golden caramel colour. (Don’t overcook it as the mixture will blacken and taste burnt – watch it closely.) Remove the chicken from the marinade. Add to the caramel mixture. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes or until evenly browned. Add the onion mixture and any marinade juices. Turn again, then re-cover and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Add the rice and stir to combine with the chicken, then pour in 900ml (1½ pints) cold water. Add the rum, if using, the butter and the remaining ½ tsp salt. Cover and simmer over a gentle heat, without lifting the lid, for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

4. Add the black-eye beans to the pan and mix well. Cover the pan and cook for 3–5 minutes until the beans are warmed through and all the liquid has been absorbed, taking care that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Garnish with the thyme sprigs and serve hot.

Chicken Curry

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Preparation Time 20–25 minutes • Cooking Time about 50 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 342 calories, 10g fat (of which 2g saturates), 25g carbohydrate, 0.5g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

1 tbsp oil

4 chicken legs, skinned

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp mild or medium curry paste

2 leeks, trimmed and sliced

200g can chopped tomatoes

1 small cauliflower, broken into florets

250g (9oz) small new potatoes

600ml (1 pint) hot chicken stock

150g (5oz) each spinach and frozen peas

naan bread or rice (optional) to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick casserole dish and brown the chicken all over. After 5 minutes, add the onion to the pan and cook for 5–10 minutes until golden.

2. Add the curry paste and cook for 1 minute, then add the leeks, tomatoes, cauliflower, potatoes and hot stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 20–30 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are tender.

3. Add the spinach and peas and cook for 5 minutes or until heated through. Serve with naan bread, or rice, if you like.

Chicken & Pork Terrine

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Preparation Time 30 minutes, plus overnight chilling • Cooking Time about 2 hours 10 minutes, plus cooling • Serves 8 • Per Serving 332 calories, 21g fat (of which 6g saturates), 6g carbohydrate, 1.3g salt • A Little Effort

1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to brush

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp brandy (optional)

12 smoked streaky bacon rashers

2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1cm (½in) pieces (or use turkey breast or mince)

500g pack of pork mince

50g (2oz) pistachios, roughly chopped

50g (2oz) dried cranberries

¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

2 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked off

salt and freshly ground black pepper

fruit chutney and toast to serve

1. Heat the oil in a medium pan and cook the onion gently for 10 minutes or until softened. Carefully add the brandy, if you like, and bubble for 30 seconds, then tip the mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. Use about 10 of the bacon rashers to line the inside of a 900g (2lb) loaf tin, leaving the excess hanging over the sides. Add the chopped chicken, pork, pistachios, cranberries, nutmeg, thyme leaves and plenty of seasoning (it needs a fair amount of salt) to the cooled onion mixture and mix well.

3. Press the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and level the surface. Fold any overhanging bacon over the filling and cover with the remaining rashers. Press down again to make sure the surface is smooth. Lightly oil a small sheet of foil and press on top of the loaf tin. Wrap the tin well in a further double layer of foil, then put into a roasting tin. Half-fill the roasting tin with boiling water from the kettle and carefully transfer to the oven.

4. Cook for 1½ hours or until the terrine feels solid when pressed. Lift the tin out of the water. Unwrap the outer layers of foil (leaving the greased foil layer in place). Carefully pour out any liquid from the terrine (this will set into a jelly if not done). Leave to cool.

5. Sit the loaf tin on a baking tray and place three cans of tomatoes (or similar) on top of the terrine (resting on the foil layer). Chill overnight.

6. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Unmould the terrine on to a baking tray and lightly brush with oil. Brown in the oven for 20–25 minutes (if you don’t want the terrine browned, leave this step out). Serve the terrine warm or at room temperature in slices, with fruit chutney and toast.

GET AHEAD

Prepare the terrine to the end of step 5 up to two days ahead. Remove the weights and chill again. Complete the recipe to serve.

Clementine & Sage Turkey with Madeira Gravy

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Preparation Time 30 minutes • Cooking Time about 3 hours 40 minutes, plus resting • Serves 8, with leftovers • Per Serving (with stuffing) 301 calories, 19g fat (of which 9g saturates), 12g carbohydrate, 0.9g salt • A Little Effort

5.4kg (12lb) free-range turkey (keep the giblets for stock, if you like to one side). Spend as much as you can on your turkey – you’ll notice the difference in the texture and taste)

3 firm clementines

20g pack of fresh sage

100g (3½oz) butter, softened

500g (1lb 2oz) stuffing

3 celery sticks

3 carrots, halved lengthways

salt and freshly ground black pepper

fried clementine halves and stuffing balls to garnish (optional)

FOR THE MADEIRA GRAVY

25g (1oz) plain flour

125ml (4fl oz) Madeira wine

300ml (½ pint) chicken stock

1 tbsp runny honey or redcurrant jelly, if needed

1. Remove the turkey from the fridge 1 hour before you stuff it to let it come up to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan oven) mark 5. Finely grate the zest from the clementines into a medium bowl. Halve the zest-free clementines and put to one side. Next, add 2 tbsp thinly sliced sage leaves (keep the rest of the bunch to one side) to the bowl with the butter and plenty of seasoning and mix well.

3. Put the turkey, breast side up, on a board. Use tweezers to pluck any feathers from the skin. Loosen the skin at the neck end and use your fingers to ease the skin away from the breast meat, until 9cm (3½in) is free. Spread most of the butter between the skin and meat. Put the remaining flavoured butter to one side.

4. Spoon the cold stuffing into the neck cavity, pushing it down between the skin and breast meat and taking care not to overfill. Neaten the shape. Turn the turkey over on to its breast, pull the neck flap down and over the stuffing and secure the neck skin with a skewer or cocktail sticks. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time, allowing 30–35 minutes per 1kg (2¼lb).

5. Make a platform in a large roasting tin with celery sticks and carrot halves and sit the turkey on top. Put the clementine halves and the remaining sage (sticks and all) into the turkey cavity, then rub the remaining flavoured butter over the breast of the bird. Tie the legs together with string, season the bird all over and cover loosely with foil.

6. Roast for the calculated time, removing the foil for the last 45 minutes of cooking, and basting at least three times during cooking. If the skin is browning too quickly, cover with foil again.

7. To check if the turkey is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer – the juices should run clear. If there are any traces of pink in the juice, put the bird back into the oven and cook for 10 minutes, then check again in the same way. Alternatively, use a meat thermometer – the temperature needs to read 78°C when inserted into the thickest part of the breast.

8. When the turkey is cooked, tip the bird so that the juices run into the tin, then transfer the turkey to a board (put the tin for the Madeira Gravy to one side). Cover loosely with foil and clean teatowels to help keep the heat in. Leave to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes–1¼ hours.

9. To make the gravy, spoon off most of the fat from the roasting tin (leaving the vegetables in the tin). Put the tin over a medium heat and add the flour. Cook, stirring well with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute. Gradually add the Madeira, scraping up all the sticky bits from the bottom of the tin, then leave to bubble for a few minutes. Next, stir in the stock and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Check the seasoning and add the honey or redcurrant jelly if needed. Strain into a warmed gravy jug.

10. To serve, unwrap the turkey and transfer to a warmed plate. Remove the skewer or cocktail sticks. Garnish with the clementine halves and stuffing balls. Serve with the gravy.

Lemon & Parsley Butter Roast Turkey

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Preparation Time 25 minutes • Cooking Time about 3½ hours, plus resting • Serves 8, with leftovers • Per Serving 286 calories, 11g fat (of which 5g saturates), 28g carbohydrate, 0.6g salt • A Little Effort

5.4kg (12lb) free-range turkey

1 lemon, zested (put the lemon to one side)

100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, softened

20g pack of fresh flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped

500g (1lb 2oz) uncooked Herbed Bread Stuffing

1 red onion, halved

5 fresh bay leaves (optional)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

fresh bay leaves and extra lemon halves browned (cut side down) in oil to garnish (optional)

1. Remove the turkey from the fridge 1 hour before you stuff it to let it come up to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan oven) mark 5. Put the lemon zest, butter, parsley and plenty of seasoning into a small bowl and mix well.

3. Put the turkey, breast side up, on a board. Use tweezers to pluck any feathers from the skin. Loosen the skin at the neck end and use your fingers to ease the skin gently away from breast meat, until about 9cm (3½in) is free. Spread the butter mixture between the skin and meat.

4. Spoon the cold stuffing into the neck cavity, pushing it down between the skin and breast meat and taking care not to overfill. Neaten the shape. Turn the turkey over on to its breast, pull the neck flap down and over the stuffing and secure the neck skin with a skewer or cocktail sticks. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time, allowing 30–35 minutes per 1kg (2¼lb).

5. Transfer the turkey to a large roasting tin. Cut the zested lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the bird. Put the juiced halves into the bird’s cavity, together with the red onion halves and the bay leaves, if you like. Tie the legs together with string, season the bird all over and cover loosely with foil.

6. Roast for the calculated time, removing the foil for the last 30 minutes of cooking, and basting at least four times during cooking. If the skin is browning too quickly, cover with foil again.

7. To check if the turkey is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer – the juices should run clear. If there are any traces of pink in the juice, put the bird back into the oven and cook for 10 minutes, then check again in the same way. Alternatively, use a meat thermometer – the temperature needs to read 78°C when inserted into thickest part of the breast.

8. When the turkey is cooked, tip the bird so that the juices run into the tin, then transfer the turkey to a board (put the roasting tin for the gravy to one side). Cover well with foil and clean teatowels to help keep the heat in, then leave to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes–1¼ hours.

9. When ready to serve, put on a warmed plate or board, remove the string, skewer or cocktail sticks and garnish with bay leaves and lemon, if you like.

Goose with Roasted Apples

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Preparation Time 30 minutes • Cooking Time 3 hours, plus resting • Serves 6–8 • Per Serving 646 calories, 41g fat (of which 12g saturates), 11g carbohydrate, 1g salt • Easy

6 small red onions, halved

7 small red eating apples, unpeeled, halved

5kg (11lb) oven-ready goose, dried and seasoned inside and out

1 small bunch of fresh sage

1 small bunch of fresh rosemary

1 bay leaf

salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE GRAVY

1 tbsp plain flour

300ml (½ pint) red wine

200ml (7fl oz) giblet stock

1. Preheat the oven to 230°C (210°C fan oven) mark 8. Put half an onion and half an apple inside the goose with half the sage and rosemary and the bay leaf. Tie the legs together with string. Push a long skewer through the wings to tuck them in. Put the goose, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting tin. Prick the breast all over and season with salt and ground black pepper. Put the remaining onions around the bird, then cover loosely with foil.

2. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, then take the tin out of the oven and baste the goose with the fat that has run off. Remove and put any excess fat to one side. Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C (170°C fan oven) mark 5 and roast for a further 1½ hours, removing any excess fat every 20–30 minutes.

3. Remove the foil from the goose. Remove excess fat from the tin, then add the remaining apples. Sprinkle the goose with the remaining herbs and roast for a further 1 hour or until cooked. To test if the bird is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer – the juices should run clear. If there are any traces of pink in the juice, put the bird back into the oven and cook for 10 minutes, then check again in the same way. Alternatively, use a meat thermometer – the temperature needs to read 78°C when inserted into the thickest part of the breast.

4. Take the goose out of the oven and put it on a warmed serving plate. Cover with foil and leave to rest for 30 minutes. Remove the apples and onions and keep warm.

5. To make the gravy, pour out all but 1 tbsp of the fat from the tin, stir in the flour, then add the wine and stock. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

6. Carve the goose, cut the roast apples into wedges and serve with the goose, onions and gravy.

Pot-roasted Pheasant with Red Cabbage

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time about 1 hour • Serves 4 • Per Serving 659 calories, 21g fat (of which 12g saturates), 11g carbohydrate, 1.4g salt • Gluten Free • Easy

25g (1oz) butter

1 tbsp oil

2 oven-ready young pheasants, halved

2 onions, sliced

450g (1lb) red cabbage, cored and finely shredded

1 tsp cornflour

250ml (9fl oz) red wine

2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 rindless smoked streaky bacon rashers, halved

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Melt the butter with the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium to high heat. Add the pheasant and brown on all sides, then remove and put to one side. Add the onions and cabbage to the casserole and fry for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until softened.

2. Blend the cornflour with a little water to make a paste. Add to the casserole with the wine, redcurrant jelly and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stirring.

3. Arrange the pheasant halves, skin side up, on the cabbage. Put the halved bacon rashers on top. Cover the casserole and cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until the birds are tender (older pheasants would take an extra 10–20 minutes).

4. Serve the pot-roasted pheasant and red cabbage with the cooking juices spooned over.

TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Pot-roasted Pigeon with Red Cabbage

Instead of the pheasant, use oven-ready pigeons; put an onion wedge inside each bird before browning to impart extra flavour.

Rabbit Casserole with Prunes

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Preparation Time 20 minutes, plus soaking • Cooking Time 1¼ hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 538 calories, 26g fat (of which 13g saturates), 11g carbohydrate, 0.5g salt • Gluten Free • Easy

175g (6oz) ready-to-eat pitted prunes

300ml (½ pint) red wine

3–4 tbsp olive oil

about 2.3kg (5lb) rabbit joints

1 large onion, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

5 tbsp Armagnac

450ml (¾ pint) light stock

a few fresh thyme sprigs, tied together, or 1 tsp dried thyme, plus extra sprigs to garnish

2 bay leaves

150ml (½ pint) double cream

125g (4oz) brown-cap mushrooms, sliced

salt and ground black pepper

1. Put the prunes and wine into a bowl. Cover and leave for about 4 hours, then strain, keeping the wine and prunes to one side.

2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a flameproof casserole. Brown the rabbit joints a few at a time, then remove from the casserole. Add the onion and garlic with a little more oil, if needed, and brown lightly. Put the rabbit back into the casserole, add the Armagnac and warm through. Carefully light the Armagnac with a taper or long match, then shake the pan gently until the flames subside.

3. Pour in the stock and the wine from the prunes and bring to the boil. Add the thyme sprigs or dried thyme to the casserole with the bay leaves and plenty of salt and pepper. Cover tightly and cook in the oven for about 1 hour or until tender.

4. Lift the rabbit out of the juices and keep warm. Boil the cooking juices until reduced by half. Add the cream and mushrooms and continue boiling for 2–3 minutes. Stir in the prunes and warm through. Adjust the seasoning, then spoon the sauce over the rabbit to serve. Garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme.

TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Use chicken joints instead of rabbit.

Braised Guinea Fowl & Red Cabbage

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Preparation Time 30 minutes • Cooking Time 2 hours 20 minutes • Serves 8 • Per Serving 373 calories, 17g fat (of which 6g saturates), 12g carbohydrate, 0.9g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 oven-ready guinea fowl

150g (5oz) smoked lardons

400g (14oz) whole shallots, peeled

1 small red cabbage, cored and finely sliced

12 juniper berries, crushed

2 tsp dark brown sugar

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 fresh thyme sprigs

150ml (¼ pint) hot chicken stock

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a flameproof casserole large enough for both birds and brown the guinea fowl over a medium to high heat. Remove from the casserole and set aside.

2. Add the remaining oil to the casserole with the lardons. Fry gently to release the fat, then add the shallots and cook over a medium heat until lightly browned.

3. Stir in the red cabbage and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, or until the cabbage has softened slightly. Add the juniper berries, sugar, vinegar, thyme and hot stock. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Put the guinea fowl on top of the cabbage mixture, then cover the casserole tightly with a lid or double thickness of foil and braise in the oven for 1½ hours. Remove the lid and continue cooking for 30 minutes or until the birds are cooked through – the juices should run clear when you pierce the thighs with a skewer.

5. Transfer the guinea fowl to a board and spoon the cabbage and juices on to a serving platter. Keep warm. Joint the birds into eight, as you would a chicken, then arrange the guinea fowl on the platter on top of the cabbage. Serve at once.

Peppered Winter Stew

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 2¾ hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 540 calories, 24g fat (of which 7g saturates), 24g carbohydrate, 1.5g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

25g (1oz) plain flour

900g (2lb) stewing venison, beef or lamb, cut into 4cm (1½in) cubes

5 tbsp oil

225g (8oz) button onions or shallots, peeled with root end intact

225g (8oz) onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp tomato purée

125ml (4fl oz) red wine vinegar

750ml bottle red wine

2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

1 small bunch of fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs to garnish (optional)

4 bay leaves

6 cloves

900g (2lb) mixed root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, turnips and celeriac, cut into 4cm (1½in) chunks; carrots cut a little smaller

600–900ml (1–1½ pints) beef stock

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. Put the flour into a plastic bag, season with salt and pepper, then toss the meat in it.

2. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat and brown the meat well in small batches. Remove and put to one side.

3. Heat the remaining oil and fry the button onions or shallots for 5 minutes or until golden. Add the chopped onion and the garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and golden. Add the tomato purée and cook for a further 2 minutes, then add the vinegar and wine and bring to the boil. Bubble for 10 minutes.

4. Add the redcurrant jelly, thyme, bay leaves, 1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper, the cloves and meat to the pan, with the vegetables and enough stock to barely cover the meat and vegetables. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and cook in the oven for 1¾–2¼ hours until the meat is very tender. Serve hot, garnished with thyme sprigs, if you like.

FREEZING TIP

To freeze Complete the recipe to the end of step 4, without the garnish. Cool quickly and put in a freezerproof container. Seal and freeze for up to one month.

To use Thaw overnight at cool room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. Put into a flameproof casserole and add an extra 150ml (¼ pint) beef stock. Bring to the boil. Cover and reheat for 30 minutes.

Poacher’s Pie

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Preparation Time 20 minutes, plus chilling • Cooking Time 1½ hours • Serves 4 • Per Serving 692 calories, 37g fat (of which 16g saturates), 57g carbohydrate, 1.8g salt • A Little Effort

225g (8oz) plain flour, plus extra to dust

50g (2oz) butter

50g (2oz) lard

450g (1lb) boneless rabbit, skinned and cubed

125g (4oz) streaky bacon rashers, rind removed and chopped

2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced

1 medium leek, trimmed and sliced

1 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley

¼ tsp mixed dried herbs

chicken stock

1 medium egg, beaten, to glaze

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan oven) mark 5. Put the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl and rub in the butter and lard until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 3–4 tbsp cold water and mix to form a firm dough. Chill for 30 minutes.

2. Fill a 1.7 litre (3 pint) pie dish with alternate layers of rabbit, bacon and vegetables, sprinkling with seasoning and herbs. Half-fill the dish with stock.

3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 5cm (2in) wider than the top of the dish. Cut a 2.5cm (1in) strip from the outer edge and line the dampened rim of the dish. Dampen the pastry rim and cover with the pastry lid. Trim and seal the edges. Make a hole in the centre to let the steam escape. Decorate with pastry leaves made from the trimmings and brush with beaten egg.

4. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4 and cook for a further 1 hour. Serve hot.