Nigel Slater's chicken with garlic, cider and cream (adapted).
The following ingredients are per person:
4 garlic cloves
1 fl oz olive oil
1 oz butter
1 large chicken breast (the finest you can get)
a bay leaf
2 fl oz scrumpy (well we are in Zummerzet now)
1 fl oz double cream
Cook garlic cloves in boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain and allow to cool a little, then peel them by squeezing each one. If they prove obstinate make a small incision in them with the pointy end of a sharp knife. No need to remove any green core if using this method as the boiling removes the bitterness.
Heat the oil and butter in a pan large enough to take all the chicken eventually and capable of being covered. Fry the chicken off as quickly as possible to seal it. Turn down heat, add garlic and bay leaves, cover pan and cook until chicken is cooked through (15-20 minutes). Set chicken aside, chuck out bay leaves or give them to any small children who want to taste dinner, and add cider to pan.
Reduce sauce vigourously crushing the garlic cloves with a wooden spoon. Add cream, salt and pepper. Use cornflour (disolved in a little water) if you want to thicken and keep it rich rather than boiling off the alcohol.
Return chicken to pan and mix/bubble up for two minutes. Serve piping hot with baked spuds and a green vegetable.
We have served twice to large groups and no meat has yet been left on a plate.
When I am following a recipe such as this for many people, whilst keeping one breast of chicken per person, I tend not to increase the richer ingredients (oil, garlic, cream, cider) by the same proportion.
Ack's to the 30-Minute Cook Book (The Best of the World's Quick Cooking) by Nigel Slater, Penguin 1994.