This was just a very easy dish that basically sits on the stove and take care of itself while the cook potters. It is pretty close to a Lucas Hollweg recipe that I copied out of the Sunday Times magazine aeons ago, although that was flavoured with mustard (also delicious). I was in the mood for something zingy so subbed out the mustard for flavours of lemon and mint which I thought would be gorgeous with broad beans (it was).
The only problem is I haven't yet decided what would prove the best accompaniment for this kind of thing - new potatoes, perhaps, steamed and tossed in a knob of butter, or a lemony basmati rice or even mash (mash on the side is never wrong). I actually ended up serving it over pasta which was not quite right. Fortunately, there are two more portions in the freezer for me to have another go.
400g chicken thigh fillets, skinless and boneless, cut into chunks
3 tsp light oil
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
50ml Vermouth (or dry white wine if you happen to have some kicking around)
2 large bay leaves
500ml chicken stock (I tend to use Knorr stock pots)
100g frozen broad beans
4tbsp half fat creme fraiche
Zest and juice of half a large lemon
1-2 tbsps chopped fresh mint
Serves 4, 8pps per portion
Heat 2 tsps of oil in a large saucepan. Season the meat and then add to the pan to brown - in batches if necessary. Remove to a plate.
Heat the final tsp of oil. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until it starts to soften and then throw in the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes or so until all the vegetables are softened.
Pour in the Vermouth or white wine and briskly scrub at all the golden sticky bits of chicken and onion stuck to the bottom of the saucepan to ensure that the liquid deglazes them all. Reduce the wine to almost nothing, then return the chicken to the pan and combine everything well.
Now you can add three quarters of chicken stock. Bring up to a brisk simmer then cover and cook for around 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the creme fraiche with the lemon and mint and weigh out the broad beans.
After half an hour has passed, remove the lid and add the broad beans. They will bring the temperature of the liquid right down and temporarily stop the cooking so you may need to turn the heat up to get it back to bubbling. If it looks a little dry, add more stock - you want a decent amount of sauce. The broad beans should cook in about 5 minutes in the hot stock. The best way to check that both chicken and vegetables are cooked through are to have a quick try.
Turn the heat down and stir through the flavoured creme fraiche. As long as the stew isn't too hot and the creamy mix is at room temperature you shouldn't have any issues with splitting. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary.