Chicken, barley and morels


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Place the dried morels in a heatproof bowl and cover them with boiling water. Set aside to rehydrate for 20 minutes. Preheat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7 and place a large heavy cast-iron pan or flameproof roasting tray in there to heat up
Place a saucepan over a medium heat and add a glug of olive oil along with the chopped onion and garlic. Cook for around 3 minutes, until softened and translucent, then add in the diced potato and cook for another 2 minutes. Chop the sage and add this to the pan with the bay leaf, then season with a little salt and pepper
Strain the rehydrated morels (reserving the liquid) and add them to the pot along with the barley, mushroom soaking liquor and enough chicken stock to cover everything. Leave to simmer, covered, for around 25 minutes until the barley is tender – you can top the pot up with water as you go but the end result shouldn’t be soupy. Once you’re happy with the texture, leave to rest for a few minutes before serving (or keep warm over a very low heat if needed)
While the barley stew cooks, prepare the chicken. Drizzle with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper, then place into the preheated pan, skin-side down. Allow the residual heat to cook and crisp up the chicken skin for a few minutes, then dot the halved shallots around the chicken pieces
Transfer the chicken to the oven for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to rest, then pour the wine into the pan and gently heat to create a simple pan sauce
  • 50ml of dry white wine
To serve, get a large serving plate and spoon on the barley. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces, if preferred, then place then alongside. Add a bunch of watercress, sprinkle with parsley, drizzle with olive oil and season. To finish, squeeze the roast shallots out of their skins and dot around the chicken
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