So I'll depart from the art for a moment and add a delicious casserole recipe that I adapted from one of the most memorable meals I've ever had in a restaurant. The restaurant was Alison Burt's, in Westerham, Kent, which sadly, no longer exists; and the dish was from Normandy, 'Pheasant Vallee d'Auge', which I later discovered, again through the internet, is highly recommended for those with seduction in mind!
Delicious though pheasant is when cooked slowly in a casserole, the numerous small bones - and even lead shot! - can turn out to be quite a passion-killer, so I have substituted chicken for the pheasant to make -
Poulet Saute Vallee d'Auge
- Saute some chopped onion and baby carrots (Chantenay if possible) and (optional) leeks in butter and oil.
- Add chicken portions and brown them.
- Douse with cider and season.
- Add some mixed herbs, bayleaf and thyme, cover and simmer for 40 mins.
- Saute some whole button mushrooms in a separate pan and place in a casserole dish, along with all the other cooked ingredients.
- Cook in a slow oven until the sauce is well reduced; then stir in some apple puree and cream before serving.
Boiled baby new potatoes and a green vegetable go well with this dish and, because it is quite a rich main course, any starter or dessert needs to be light and refreshing.