I took this recipe from BBC Good Food's chicken braised with cider and bacon. Unfortunately we are a cider-less country, and hence a cider-less household, so I had to be more inventive than that. And I invite you to be more inventive too. This is a recipe crying out for alcohol - any alcohol. Whatever you've got. Throw it all in. It's delicious. And if there's any sauce left over, heat it up and eat it as soup the next day. Really.
Braised Boozy Chicken
1 tablespoon oil
3 chicken breasts
Half an onion
6 rashers bacon
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup red wine
1 chicken stock powdered cube
(or 1 teaspoon chicken stock powder)
250ml apple juice
1 teaspoon mustard
Heat the oil on the stove, in a dish that you can transfer to the oven later. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper on each side of the chicken, and fry on each side until the skin has gone white.
Peel and core the apple, and chop into small chunks. Dice the onion, and slice the bacon into lardons. As you can see below, I sliced mine all together - don't worry, the individual bits separate during cooking.
Move the chicken to a separate plate and throw the onion, apple and bacon into the dish. Cook for about five minutes on a medium flame, stirring regularly.
Add the tablespoon of flour and stir it through to make a roux. Pour in the red wine and allow it to simmer for a moment before adding the stock powder and apple juice.
Reduce the sauce slightly before adding a teaspoon of mustard, and then returning the chicken to the bowl. Season again and put in the oven at 180 degrees (360 Fahrenheit) for at least forty minutes.
This is when you can go off and do something else for as long as you like - I left the chicken in for fifty minutes, turning the breasts once, because I wasn't ready for them to come out after forty. Turn the heat down to 150 and let them slow-cook for two hours if you feel like it.
Serve with mashed potato and broccoli.