• 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3–4 slices of bread, crusts removed, diced
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 2.5 kg (5 lb) chicken, cut into 12 serving pieces
  • 24 small pickling onions, peeled
  • 125 g (4 oz) smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 24 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped parsley
  • pared strips of orange rind

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, flameproof casserole and fry the bread until golden. Drain. Add the remaining oil, the butter and chicken pieces. Fry gently over a low heat until golden on all sides, turning occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Pour off a little of the fat from the casserole, then add the onions and bacon. Sauté until lightly coloured, then sprinkle in the flour and stir well.

Pour in the wine and bring to the boil, stirring. Add the bouquet garni, garlic cloves, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the casserole. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and continue cooking gently for a further 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and tender. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and arrange the pieces on a warmed serving plate. Keep hot. Pour the brandy into the sauce and boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes until the sauce is thick and reduced. Remove the bouquet garni and garlic cloves.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve with the bread croûtes. Garnish with the chopped parsley and orange rind.

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