Stuffed and cooked in foil, the chicken is wonderfully moist and tender, and the vegetable ragout is a lovely accompaniment. You just need to bone out the chicken legs, which isn’t that difficult.
6 whole chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks)
25g butter, softened
FOR THE STUFFING
100g wild mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
5 Cumberland sausages (about 60g each), skinned
60g dry white breadcrumbs
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
1 tbsp lemon thyme leaves
3 medium eggs, beaten
FOR THE PEA RAGOUT
18 new potatoes
18 baby onions
18 Chantenay carrots, scrubbed and halved lengthways
200g smoked bacon lardons
600ml chicken stock
80g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 Little Gem lettuces, roughly chopped
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Bone out the chicken legs: using a sharp knife, start at the thigh bone and, working carefully, ease the flesh away from the bones without piercing the skin, then lightly season.
To make the stuffing, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 1-2 mins or until tender. In a large bowl, mix the sausagemeat and mushrooms with the breadcrumbs, herbs and enough beaten egg to bind together.
Spoon the stuffing into the chicken legs to fill. Tear off 6 rectangles of foil large enough to wrap around the chicken legs. Brush the foil with the soft butter and season. Put a chicken leg on each piece of foil and roll up firmly to enclose, twisting the ends to seal.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Put the foil-wrapped chicken legs in the pan and cook for about 30 secs-1 min each side to seal. (This will prevent the stuffing bursting out.) Transfer to a roasting tin and cook in the oven for 15-20 mins, turning halfway through, until thoroughly cooked through.
Meanwhile, make the ragout. Add the potatoes to a pan of boiling salted water and cook for 12-15 mins or until tender. Drain, peel away the skins and set aside. Blanch the onions, carrots and peas separately in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain and refresh in cold water, then drain again thoroughly.
Once the chicken legs are cooked, leave them to rest in a warm place while you finish the ragout. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add the bacon and fry until golden. Pour in the stock and let it bubble to reduce by half, then stir in the butter to give a glossy sauce.
To serve, add the blanched vegetables to the sauce to heat through, then remove the pan from the heat. Fold in the lettuce. Unwrap and slice the chicken. Divide the ragout between warm plates, top with the sliced chicken and serve.