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Bacon and walnut chicken with leeky mash

by Sarah Alcock

Serves: 4

'This dish is a favourite in our household and the perfect winter pick-me-up. My kids love the fact that, once they've devoured the chicken, they can mop up the meaty juices with the sweet leeky potato. Rich, flavoursome and grown up, yet child friendly!' James Cowan


  • 1 x 1.5kg free-range chicken, jointed into 8 and skinned
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 x 160g pack oak-smoked bacon lardons
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 150g small chestnut mushrooms
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 3-4 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • 50g walnuts, toasted
  • 1kg red-skinned potatoes
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 75g unsalted butter


  1. Toss the chicken pieces in the plain flour to coat. Heat a frying pan until hot, add the lardons and fry until crisp. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  2. Return the pan to the heat and use the fat from the lardons to brown the chicken all over. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Reduce the heat and add the oil and shallots. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until tender, then return the lardons to the pan, along with the garlic and mushrooms, and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Add the wine to the pan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Add the thyme and 100ml water. Bring to the boil and season to taste.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, adding the walnuts for the final 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, peel and cube the potatoes. Cook in boiling salted water for 20 minutes until tender. Drain and mash with 50g of the butter.
  7. Cook the leeks in the remaining butter for about 8 minutes until soft and just starting to brown. Stir the buttery leeks into the mash and season.
  8. Discard the lemon thyme and serve the cooked chicken with the leeky mash and plenty of the sauce poured over.

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