If I still included Weight Watchers points at the bottom of the recipes on here, this one would probably stand at eleventy million. There is nothing vaguely diet friendly about it, it being a dish that is a celebration of creamy, cheesy stodge. Still, in such times, I am moved to quote Joey Tribbiani of Friends - if you're going to do a thing wrong, do it right. If you're going to eat something groaning in calories, make it something like chicken tartiflette.
Oh, and it has kale in it, which means it is kind of healthy as well. So.
This recipe is a tweaked version of Monica Galletti's from her new book, "The Skills" (and I believe it also appeared in the Good Food magazine a month of so ago). Tweaked, because instead of using a whole chicken, I cheated and used thigh fillets. Oh, and she cooks her bacon to release the flavour but then omits it from the finished dish which seemed slightly odd to me, so I left it in.
My only very slight criticism was that when I've had tartiflette in the past, I'm sure it has been a little saucier so I've upped the amount of chicken broth required to let down the cream in my version below - feel free to reduce it back again (the original recipe called for just 100ml) or up still further if you like. You will have more broth than you need anyway but it is pretty tasty, so keep whatever is left in the fridge to use in any soups or stews you plan to be making.
Rapeseed, or similar, oil
Six boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets
1 onion, roughly sliced
1 head of garlic, sliced horizontally across
100ml white wine
1 large bay leaf
Hefty sprig of thyme
1 litre chicken stock
500g waxy potatoes (such as Charlotte) sliced to about the thickness of a pound coin
6 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
150ml double cream
150g Reblochon cheese, cubed
200g kale, roughly chopped
In a large casserole dish, suitable for use on the stove top, heat a little oil. Season the chicken fillets well and then brown for a couple of minutes on each side before removing from the pan.
Add a little more oil, then add the onion and the head of garlic and cook for a few minutes until the onion is beginning to soften. Pour in the white wine to deglaze the pan and reduce down to almost nothing. Now add the chicken stock, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a gentle simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, cover and cook through - around twenty minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside, allowing the chicken pieces to cool in the broth.
Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a large pan of cold, salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for around 5 minutes. The potatoes will just be thinking about becoming tender at this point. Drain, and set aside.
Once cool, remove the chicken from the broth and shred. Preheat the oven to 180. Pour the broth into a separate bowl, wipe out the casserole dish and return to the hob over a medium heat.
Heat a little more oil and then add the bacon, cooking until beginning to brown at which point you can chuck in the onion. Five minutes later, when the onion is softening, in goes the garlic as well.
Pour in the cream, plus 200ml of the reserved chicken broth, bring up to a gentle simmer and then season to taste - a liberal hand with the black pepper would be good here. Stir through three quarters of the cheese, and, as it starts to melt, you can add the chicken, potatoes and kale, stirring well to make sure that everything is coated. I told you that this pan needed to be large.
Top with the remaining cheese and then bake for twenty five minutes until golden and bubbling.