Somerset Chicken!

By Neil Muir (NEILMUIR1) on February 12, 2011

The County of Somerset is really a jewel in the crown of the south west of England. It is famous for its beaches, fantastic countryside, and to a cook, its marvellous produce. When I think of this amazing place it brings back memories of cream teas, cider and Cheddar Gorge, where the famous farmhouse Cheddar cheese came from originally, and is still made there to this day. This is but one of the fantastic dishes that originated in this great County.

There are a lot of recipes for Somerset chicken; some do it like this and others in a casserole. I do not think it matters, as it is delicious all the same. It is not a difficult dish to make at all, and is lovely on a wet or cold night. It is what I would call comfort food! However if you are on a diet I would think twice before eating this!

I am using four chicken breasts, but you can use drumsticks or thighs if you so wish. Or indeed a combination of all of them. Just make sure they are cooked when you take them out of the oven for the first time.

For this recipe you will need: Four chicken breasts, two medium onions or, one large one (sliced), two desert apples (cored and cut into slices), 10 oz good Cheddar cheese, 3 oz mushrooms (sliced), 2 tbsp of cooking olive oil, 2 oz of butter, 6 Fl oz chicken stock, 6 Fl oz of double cream (thick cream), 7 Fl oz of cider, 2.5 tbsp of plain flour. one tbsp of grain mustard, half a tbsp of dried sage, half a tsp of thyme, 1 clove of garlic (optional), salt and black pepper.

Get you oven heated to gas mark 6 or 400 F. Now add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 oz of butter to a frying pan and allow to get hot. Salt and pepper your chicken. The ingredients and the pan with the oil and butter in the pictures below.

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The chicken after bing sprinkled with salt and black pepper. Then placed in the pan skin side down for about 2 minutes, then you do the same the other side.

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When the chicken is browned place in a deep oven dish. As long as the chicken is sealed do not worry too much about getting it really brown, as it has to go in the oven. Place you chicken in the oven for 25 minutes in the middle shelf! Chop your onions up and in the pan you browned your chicken add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the other ounce of butter. Place the onions in your pan and cook till soft for about 5-6 minutes, also add your chopped garlic if desired. Now add your mushrooms and apple for a minute or two. Add your flour and mustard and then pour in your chicken stock bringing it to the boil, add the cider and then simmer for 5 minutes.  Now add your cream, sage, thyme and more salt and pepper if needed. Cook for a further 5 minutes or till you get the thickness you want. These are Braeburn apples, but you can use any you so wish.

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Flour and mustard in the pan, then the stock and cider and cooked for 5-6 minutes. The nice bit next add all the cream!

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Get the chicken out of the oven and check to see it is cooked! This is how much Cheddar cheese I used!

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Now pour all the sauce over your chicken, then top with the grated Cheddar cheese. Place the dish back in the oven till the top is brown. Some people put it under the grill to brown it. I don't as the oven is already on! Now a glass of cider for the cook.

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I am serving this with baby potatoes and peas. However it goes with most things. Lovely with sweetcorn; or if the chicken is chopped up when it comes out of the oven and before you put the sauce on, it is gorgeous over baked potatoes.

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This lovely dish does not pretend to be anything but exactly what it is, good honest food from a County proud of its produce. It is just that combination of flavors that makes it a special Home cooked meal.

Links.

For a guided tour of Somerset Click Here.

Regards.

Neil.

 

For Nancy.


About Neil Muir
I started as a seven year Apprentice for a Parks Department on the London\Kent borders. Going to college one day a week and working in the varied Victorian parks, gardens and nurseries five days a week.
After this I worked for many large estates and became Head Gardener in different locations. However with the growing use of pesticides and herbicides I went back to University, primarily to study Conservation and Ecology, but relevant to the now growing organic movement in the UK. After 28 years in Horticulture due to an accident I was informed I could no longer do the physical work involved and was retired. I love supporting the Great British Gardens we have in our small island, and cooking the traditional food of this Country. My hobbies are listening to bagpipe music, steam trains and model making, plus of course gardening.






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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
Names The Same CajuninKy Feb 24, 2014 9:28 AM 0
Ingredients... Petalpants Mar 9, 2011 3:39 PM 6
Somerset Chicken murielw1 Mar 7, 2011 9:34 AM 12
A taste of home pajonica Feb 18, 2011 2:57 AM 1
Mouth Watering vic Feb 17, 2011 12:40 PM 11

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