- 1 poulet de Bresse
- 1 bay leaf
- 200g carrots, diced, trimmings reserved
- 3 celery stalks, diced, trimmings reserved
- 1 onion, diced, trimmings reserved
- Plain flour, for dusting
- 4tbs vegetable oil
- 50g unsalted butter
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 heaped tbs thyme, finely chopped
- 300g mixed wild mushrooms (eg, girolles, chanterelles, ceps)
- 400ml dry sherry
- 200g crème fraîche
- 150g Morbier, grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbs chopped tarragon, to serve
For the mash
- 200g Desiree potatoes
- 200g celeriac
- 200g parsnips
- Knob of unsalted butter
Morbier is made in the Franche-Comté region of west France using cows' milk. It has a soft, smooth texture and a fruity flavour with vegetable charcoal running dramatically through its centre. Or look for a semi-hard cows' cheese with fruity character.
Start with the stock. Cut the poulet de Bresse into eight pieces and remove the breastbone. You can ask your butcher to do this. Rinse the bones and put in a pan with the bay leaf and the trimmings from the carrots, celery and onion. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for one hour. Strain through a sieve and set aside.
Meanwhile, season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Dust with flour. Put the oil in a cast-iron casserole dish over a medium heat until hot. Add the chicken and fry for 10 minutes until golden brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside. Drain the fat from the casserole dish, return the dish to the heat and add the butter. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and thyme. Sweat for five minutes until brown.
Meanwhile, clean the mushrooms and cut into chunks. Add to the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Return the chicken to the casserole dish and add the sherry. Increase the heat and cook for a few minutes until the alcohol has evaporated. Add the prepared stock, cover the casserole dish and cook in the oven for 90 minutes.
To make the mash, peel and cut the potatoes, celeriac and parsnips into chunks and put in a pan of cold, salted water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and put in a pan with the butter. Mash well and season. Cover with a lid to keep warm.
Take the casserole dish from the oven and remove the chicken and mushrooms to a serving dish with a slotted spoon. If the sauce is too thin, put the casserole dish on the hob over a medium heat until the sauce has thickened. Add the crème fraîche and Morbier and stir well to combine.
Serve the chicken, mushrooms and mash topped with the sauce and a sprinkle of tarragon.
Recipe taken from A Year in Cheese by Alex and Léo Guarneri, with recipes by Alessandro Grano. Photography by Kim Lightbody