Tag Archives: chicken stock

Clear Chicken Stock

fanny and brendas clear chicken stock

Sometimes you want a stock that is flavourful, but one that perhaps doesn’t have the array of aromatics found in our usual lovely gorgeous stock! The one major difference with this stock is that it is cooked from raw and is not a leftover carcass from a roast.

So, I simply selected two medium chickens, cut the four breasts off and reserved for cooking elsewhere., I then split the remains into about twelve pieces, quartered three large onions, added a teaspoon of black peppercorns and topped up with about 4 litres of cold water and simmered for about four hours.

This chicken stock is particularly useful for the likes of a chicken noodle soup!

Lemony Chard and Lentil Soup

summer lemony chard and lentil soup from fanny and brenda 

Our editor decided to bring some home grown chard with him that he had grown in his front garden. Bursting with freshness it would have been a crime not to have done something with it and bless me because there was soon a hive of activity around the oven.


500ml chicken stock
120g green lentils
1 medium chopped onion
1 courgette cut into cubes
1/2 aubergine cut into cubes
2 fresh tomatoes cut into cubes
1 fresh jalapeño pepper – sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 lemon – juiced and finely zested
1 tsp za’atar or sumac
1 tsp paprilka
1 tbsn fresh flast leaf parsley – chopped
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
olive oil


I would like to say you can use water and a chicken stock cube for this, but you can’t. Or at the very least, I wouldn’t. But there again, I write this from a very advantageous position as the Fates were smiling on me (which I think was the Universe’s way of compensating me for Brenda’s hideous grimace).Not only did i have my own gorgeous chicken stock ready and awaiting me in the freezer, but, upon retrieving it from there, I chanced upon a little dish containing a disc of pure chicken essence (I’d been inspired to recreate an Elizabeth David butter roasted chicken, served it with its own juices, poured from a small jug. The following day, I discovered that underneath the 2 inch thick layer of butter, was a layer of, as I said, pure chicken essence. By the way, it was from a Norfolk Black chicken and you know what they say, once you’ve had black…..)

1) Set the chicken stock onto the heat and bring to the boil, adding the lentils

2) Start frying the onion, aubergine and courgette, then after 10 minutes, sprinkle on the sumac and add the tomato and jalapeño , continuing to fry for another 5 mins

3) Tip the contents of the frying pan into the simmering lentils, add about half the grated lemon zest and all the juice, the chard and the paprika

4) Simmer for another 5 mins or so until the chard is wilted into the soup

5) Serve with a rough chopped fresh flat leaf parsley and a light sprinkle of lemon zest

6) A slice of sourdough goes awfully well too.

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

fanny and brenda make a sumptuous chicken with 40 cloves of garlic a classic french recipe, photo by simon c bennett photographer

In the video Fanny shows us how to make Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. This is one of those dishes that is a delight, and you always need enough for seconds as everyone will want them. It is good for a nice autumnal evening with friends and family, together with some colcannon potato and some greens.


1 large chicken, jointed into wings, thighs, drumsticks and breasts which should be cut in half.
300 ml olive oil
3 heads garlic
6-7 sprigs of thyme or lemon thyme
5 bay leaves
2 lemons
200 ml white wine
200 ml chicken stock or water
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper


Preheat the oven to 180°C

During our clip, we fried off the chicken pieces first for about 10 minutes and this is perfectly fine. However strictly speaking I really dont think it’s necessary as it gets deliciously browned during the main part of the cooking in the oven.

Take your three heads of garlic, split in to cloves then peel about a third of the cloves. Add both peeled and unpeeled cloves to the dish in which you have fried off the chicken. We used paella dish which meant the frying and main cooking took place in the same vessel. Any heavy cast iron casserole or cooking pot would be ideal.

Nestle sprigs of fresh thyme amongst the chicken and garlic cloves, along with the bay leaves, two halves of the lemon, the white wine and stock/water. By the way although I used stock, water really is fine as the meat is on the bone so, along with the herbs and wine, makes its own stock as it cooks. Season well with salt and pepper.

Cover with lid or tin foil and put in the oven for 45 mins. After this time, check for ‘doneness’ but either way, an extra 15 mins in the oven, UNcovered ensures you get a lovely golden brown colour and crispy skin. If you need to add any extra liquid to ensure there is a good gravy after the final 15 mins, dont be afraid to do so.

a delicious bacon cabbage colcannon style mash accompanies this classic french recipe very well indeedA delicious bacon cabbage colcannon style mash accompanies this classic french recipe very well indeed

Remove from oven and take the chicken pieces and unpeeled garlic cloves out of the cooking pot and allow to rest somewhere warm for 10-15 mins, covered in tin foil (use the same pieces as you covered the dish with).Pour off excess olive oil from the pot – this can be reserved for all sorts of applications where a garlic and herb infused oil would add something to future dishes you create! Also remove the thyme and bay leaves – discard. Remove the lemon but squeeze any remaining flesh/juice into the gravy. Lastly, mash the peeled garlic cloves into the gravy, so that they become part of the gravy.

You should then have a fairly thick sauce, about the consistency of double cream, made from the remaining olive oil but mostly from the gorgeous chickeny, lemony, herby, garlicky juices. This can then be drizzled round the chicken pieces which we plated with a potato, cavolo nero and bacon mash.

fanny and brenda make a sumptuous chicken with 40 cloves of garlic a classic french recipe photo by simon c bennett photographer

Making a decent chicken stock

chicken stock recipe by fanny and brenda
An old chicken carcass
2 onions
A handful of black peppercorns
3 carrots
2 leeks
2 celery sticks
parsley stalks
lemon thyme
fanny and brenda's proper chicken stock recipe There is no substitute for a decent chicken stock. For the well developed palate a stock cube simply won’t do. There are differences and these will influence the end result very considerably. chicken stock recipe by fanny and brenda For this stock we used an old roasted chicken carcass as the starting point . To that we added two leeks, two onions, two celery sticks, parsley stalks,lemon thyme, black peppercorns, and four bay leaves, which have been placed in a large pan of water. chicken stock recipe Now bring to the boil and then simmer for about two and a half hours.

making a gorgeous chicken stock

Place in a jug or large bowl and allow to cool. Then place it in a fridge. chicken stock recipe by fanny and brenda The following day you will notice that you have a rich jelly like chicken stock with a layer of chicken fat above. set jelly chicken stock -fanny and brenda's recipe for superb stock The important thing is to be able to use the old bones and leftover meat bits to your liking and it is so much better than the stock cubes.