The best thing to cook with chicken thighs

I’ve given a number of versions of my chicken in cider recipe. Whilst it has slowly improved, last night’s version was such a massive leap forward I just had to share it. I was stunned by what I cooked.

Of course, you’ll need truly wizard ingredients to make yours as good as mine; if it is you’ll pleasure your dining partner immensely. Most of our ingredients came from the Hampshire Farmers’ Market, but I’m sure of you less geographically blessed will manage to find suitable ingredients. You will need

  • Chicken thighs4 Insanely good chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks will serve adequately (Hyden Farm is the place to get these)
  • 500ml High-quality dry cider (Weston’s Vintage is perfect)
  • 500ml Brilliant chicken stock
  • 500g onions peeled and roughly chopped
  • 300g Scrummy mushrooms (I used a mixture of Beech and Shiitake) chopped artlessly
  • 300g Unsmoked, dry-cure back bacon (Beechcroft Direct deliver the goods) sliced into 1cm strips
  • 150g Unsalted butter
  • A couple of heaped tablespoons unctuously rich Jersey cream
  • A couple of tablespoons of lard

This is really easy to cook, too – most of the recipe is simply sitting around for two and a half hours plotting your next dissolute bender. Shall we start?

Melt that lard in a heavy-based stew pot and quickly brown the chicken on the outside. Put the chicken to on a plate to one side and pour the hot lard out the window over some loathsome person who doggedly refuses to enjoy life. HA!

Melt 100g of the butter in the stew pot and when it’s foaming add the onions and stir over a high heat until they are wilted and slightly brown. Add the cider, stock and the chicken pieces to the pot.

You then need to bring the mixture to a simmer before putting it over the lowest temperature your hob’s imagination can handle (with a lid on) for about two and one half hours.

Now would be a good time to drink that other half litre of cider you purchased. If you got the Weston’s it’s 8.2%, so should keep your head pounding until it is time to move to the next step.

Take the lid off the stew pot, take the chicken pieces out and put them on a plate, then whack up the heat. You want to start the stock/cider mixture reducing. Give it an occasional stir so the onions don’t stick and burn.

Fry the bacon in a little of the remaining butter then transfer to the boiling stew pot. Fry the mushrooms in the rest of the butter until thoroughly cooked and then put them in the stew pot.

When it looks like the total volume of liquid in the pot has been reduced by about half then put the chicken pieces back in, keep the heat high for a couple of minutes just to make sure they are warm. Then stir in the Jersey cream and serve (with some rice if you like) to groans and sighs of uninhibited delight.

Chicken in cider used to be a warming, happy food of delight and happiness. With this recipe it is a throbbing pleasuring dish of lewd satisfaction. I was chuffed as ninepence with this last night.