Of course everybody likes to be a winner. When it comes to success, don’t we all want to pick up a gold medal? However, if you are not an Olympic champion (I don’t know many JPs who are), is coming first all it’s cracked up to be? After all, January is the first month of the year and — let’s be fair — besides the sales, it has to be the most miserable month of the year. When February comes along, you feel like you have been given a second chance (always a great feeling). The birds are back in the garden and chocolate is back on the shopping list. At long last, the light is beginning to return and spring feels like it is just around the corner.
So, sometimes second can be even more satisfying than first; I am sure second wives would second that in every way. If you are second in command, at least you get the perks of the job without so much of the tsures — something that poor old Gordon Brown is currently suffering from.
For me, the first course is a taster of what is to come. It is the warm up for the second course, which is the main focus of the meal. So this month, what does The Jewish Princess make as I book my second-row seats for Oliver! (sitting at the front is just too near the orchestra)? A dish that everybody will be coming back for. Did I hear a request for seconds? “Please sir, may I have some more?”
● 1 large chicken (approx 5kg)
● 1 red apple
● 2 tablespoons maple syrup
● 200g dried mixed fruit
● 150mls of water
● 225g fresh cranberries
● black pepper
● 1 large onion diced
● 2 tablespoons of olive oil
● 200mls red wine
● Turn oven on at gas mark 180˚c ,350˚f, gas mark 4
● Prick the washed chicken with a fork all over, and place in an oven-proof dish.
● Place the apple up its toches.
● Drizzle the maple syrup over the chicken and pour the water in the bottom of the dish.
● Scatter 100g of cranberries and dried fruit over the bird.
● Grind some pepper over the chicken
● Place in the oven for 2 hours, but take out and baste the chicken with the water and fruit every half an hour.
● Whilst the chicken is cooking, fry over the onions in the olive oil until soft.
● Put the wine and remaining cranberries in a saucepan and bring to the boil and let this simmer for ten minutes and then add the onions.
● Remove the chicken from the dish and take the remaining juice and fruits and mix them together with the red wine gravy.
● When you place a portion of chicken on the plate pour this delicious fruity gravy over.
A two step recipe that makes it twice as nice.