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No matter how small your herb garden may be*, it explodes from time to time into a superabundance. Basil, parsley, marjoram, chives and others overflow into a mayhem of greens and mauves. This wonderful dish is made for that moment. Large chicken pieces (buy the very best quality) are sautéed in a rich herby batter and served with a no less herby sauce. This is easy magic – a classic for an intimate dinner with special friends. Serve with a strong green salad, baby tomatoes and a fine chardonnay.

Ingredients for 4

  • 1 large chicken thigh per person.
  • ½ cup flour.
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan.
  • 3 whole eggs lightly whisked.
  • ½ handful finely chopped basil.
  • ½ handful finely chopped parsley.
  • Seasoned lightly.
  • 1 cup olive oil.
  • ½ handful finely chopped marjoram.
  • ½ handful finely chopped parsley.
  • ½ handful finely chopped chives.
  • ½ leek finely chopped.
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped.
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice.
  • 1 cup white wine.
  • 1 cup heavy cream.
  • ½ cup chicken stock or ½ stock cube crumbled.

Method

  1.  Preheat oven to 400f.
  2. Prepare herb mixture in a large glass bowl by combining eggs, basil and parsley with the parmesan and seasoning.
  3. Heat olive oil in skillet.
  4. Flour the chicken pieces liberally then submerge them in the herb mixture coating heavily all over.
  5. Place each thickly coated piece into the hot olive oil, brown (c4 minutes), turn over and brown the other side (c4 minutes).
  6. Transfer chicken to a baking pan and bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile drain all but ¼ of the oil from the saute pan and sweat the herbs, leek and garlic. Add the lemon juice, white wine, chicken stock and squeeze of honey and reduce liquid by ½ (c 5 minutes)
  8. Add heavy cream and reduce once again to a thick sauce (c 4 minutes).

Serve chicken surrounded by sauce, garnished with a sprinkle of remaining chopped herbs. Add a strong salad with some cherry tomatoes.