You can use any duck or fowl to make this lovely Kingcombe Centre recipe, even turkey, so a great way to use up those Christmas leftovers!
For the main dish:
- Three or four chicken breasts (or left over turkey)
- Four strips of good quality streaky bacon. Smoked works best, but unsmoked will do, but do avoid cheaper cuts of bacon as the water content is likely to be higher and that does not work so well.
- Two cloves of garlic
- Herbs to taste (try thyme the first time round, but you can experiment)
- Seasoning (easy on the pepper!)
- 200g Butter
For the brandy prunes:
- A dozen or so prunes. You can use tinned ones, but the vacuum packed ones work best, as they soak up the flavours better
- Three or four good measures of brandy or a large glass of red wine
- Brown sugar to taste (at least a tablespoon full)
If starting with raw meat, cut it into medium sized pieces and cook it by boiling gently for 10 15 minutes (adding a couple of bay leaves to the water) then leave to cool completely (test a piece before switching the heat off to test that it is cooked most of the way, the remaining heat will complete the cooking). When cooled, shred the meat so that it is in small thin pieces. Place in a small bowl and put to one side (you want the chicken to fill the bowl to the top)
Now take the garlic and streaky bacon and place in a warm, but not red hot, pan, as you are aiming to cook the bacon by sweating it, but not colouring it, getting it to release some of its fat as it will help to bind the chicken. It will take perhaps 10 minutes at a medium heat to do this, but the key is that it is ready when the pan has some fat in it and the bacon is well cooked but not coloured. For the last minute or so add the herb of your choice. At least at first, avoid adding several different herbs, as you want one flavour to come through.
When cooked, cut the bacon into small pieces and return to the pan, with the chicken, swirling the whole mix around to soak up the juices then return the whole mix to the bowl and, with a fork, press it down as hard as you can to pack it as tightly as possible in the bowl. Melt the butter and pour slowly over the mix until there is around 1cm of melted butter on top. Allow to cool and place in the fridge.
For the brandy prunes, put the prunes, brandy and sugar in a pan on a medium heat and stir occasionally until the prunes are coated in a sugary sweet glaze.
Turn out the chicken and serve with warm bread/toast with a generous helping of prunes - good eating!
Kingcombe Meadows - a great place to go for a wander!
If you are looking for a new place to discover over the Christmas holiday - drive to the Kingcombe Centre in West Dorset, leave your car in our car park and then wander through the 450 acres of stunning meadows and woods of Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve. Find out more here
Exclusive winter break offer at Kingcombe
Until March 2014, we're got an exclusive winter offer on accommodation at the Kingcombe Centre. The main accommodation has 11 wildlife-themed en-suite bedrooms, which can accommodate larger groups, at a special reduced rate of £60 per person per day (the minimum group size is five people). This price includes breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Kingcombe Centre cafe, all prepared by our award winning chef, Pete Thomson. This offer is perfect for organisations, businesses and groups looking for a unique place to meet and stay. Find out more