Yesterday I bought a poulet fermier (farm-reared chicken) from the excellent butcher’s shop in Roujan. It was a large bird – 2.4 kilos – and it had lived. Its flesh was firm, the leg meat dark and tasty, nothing like the chickens available in supermarkets. I chopped some pickled lemons and garlic and marinaded the chicken for a few hours with these and some olive oil.
I added a glass of white wine and a little salt, brought it to the boil, put a lid on it and simmered for about an hour and a quarter. While the chicken was simmering I made a relish with two more chopped pickled lemons, a tablespoon of chopped pitted green olives, a little chopped parsley and two chopped garlic cloves.
Lo Jardinièr prepared some rice to which he added sliced onion sautéed in olive oil, a handful of raisins, and a dozen green apricots previously cooked in syrup, stones removed and chopped. He used half a cupful of the syrup from the apricots with the cooking water for the rice.
When the chicken was almost cooked I removed it from the liquid (wine now turned into a delicious sauce) and put it in a roasting dish in a hot oven for half an hour until the skin was browned.
The chicken, apricot rice and lemon relish all went very well together, and with a glass of Faugères red wine from the domaine d’Estève at Roquessels.
Lo Jardinièr has now posted the piece about jachère that I trailed the other day on his blog – here