2 tablespoons olive oil
40g (11/2 oz) butter
1 boiler (stewing) chicken
2 baby (pearl) onions
20g (3/4 oz) dried mushrooms
250ml / 8fl oz (1 Cup) double/heavy cream
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Heat half the olive oil and half the butter in a flameproof casserole dish, add the chicken and cook, turning frequently, until browned all over. Add one of the onions and sprinkle with hot water. Transfer to the oven and roast for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, place the mushrooms in a bowl, add warm water to cover and leave to soak for 15–30 minutes, then drain and squeeze out.
Cut off and discard a slice from one end of a pomegranate, stand it upright and cut downwards through the skin at intervals. Bend back the segments and scrape the seeds into a bowl with your fingers. Repeat with the remaining pomegranates, then crush the seeds with a potato masher and pour the juice over the chicken.
Return the casserole to the oven. Reserve the seeds. Chop the remaining onion. Heat the remaining oil and butter in a pan, add the chopped onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 15 minutes, then add to the casserole. When the bird is tender, remove it and the whole onion from the casserole.
Transfer the cooking juices to a food processor and process to a purée.
Scrape the purée into a saucepan, stir in the cream and sage, season and cook over a low heat until thickened. Cut the bird into pieces and chop the onion.
Serve the chicken with the sauce, reserved pomegranate seeds and chopped onion.
Preparation: 20 min
Cooking: 11/4 hr
The Silver Spoon