Recipes | Chicken, cider and Cheddar crumble


Chicken, cider and Cheddar crumble

There's been a decided nip in the air these last few evenings so I don't think it's too soon to make this comforting savoury crumble from James Rich's new book, Apple.

James writes: "This makes for a warming, wholesome supper and can be made ahead of time and chilled until needed. Just leave the final baking until about half an hour before you want to serve."

Serves 6

Prep 20 mins

Cook 40 mins

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

100 g (3½ oz) mushrooms, sliced

350 g (12 oz) skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cooking apple, such as a Bramley, peeled and cored

1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

200 ml (7 fl oz/scant 1 cup) dry cider

100 g (3½ oz/scant ½ cup) crème fraîche

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the crumble

250 g (9 oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour

1 teaspoon mustard powder

salt and freshly ground black pepper

150 g (5 oz) butter, at room temperature, diced (though I'd use chilled butter FB)

150 g (5 oz) mature Cheddar, grated (shredded)

30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) hazelnuts, chopped

Preheat a fan oven to 200°C (400°F/gas 6).

Heat the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat and fry the onion, celery and carrots for 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and mushrooms and fry for a further 3 minutes.

Add the chicken and oregano to the pan and continue frying for another 10 minutes until the chicken begins to brown.

Cut the apple into 8 wedges, add to the pan and fry for a further 2 minutes.

Next, add the mustard and stir in well. Then pour in the cider and increase the heat. Cook on a high heat for 3–5 minutes until the alcohol has burnt off and liquid has reduced by about a quarter. Turn off the heat, stir in the crème fraîche and season to taste with salt and pepper. Then transfer to a large baking dish.

To make the crumble topping, put the flour, mustard powder and some salt and pepper in a bowl and mix together. Add the butter, then rub between your fingers and thumbs (or pulse in a food processor FB) until you have a breadcrumb-like mixture. Stir in the cheese and hazelnuts and mix well.

Top the apple, chicken and cider with the crumble and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown and crunchy. Serve with your favourite vegetables.

What to drink: Well, it really has to be cider in my view but you could go for a rich chenin blanc or a chardonnay.

Extracted from Apple: Recipes from the Orchard by James Rich, published by Hardie Grant at £20. Photograph © Jacqui Melville.

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Comments: 1 (Add)

Nick Brett on September 11 2019 at 13:04

That looks fantastic!

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