The Village Kitchen

Poultry, Game and Gammon

For this you need a large saute or frying pan with a good lid. An electric frying pan is ideal.

The dish can be cooked in a covered casserole in the oven, transferring contents of the frying

pan after each stage. The cooking time for this method is 35 to 40 minutes in a moderately hot oven, Gas 5, 375F, 190C.

2 level tablespoons plain flour1 level teaspoon salt1/3 level teaspoon pepper1 jointed chicken50g / 2oz bacon fat, butter or lard1 large sliced onion1 large carrot, cut in rings2 sharp eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into quarters225g / 8 oz peas300 ml / half pint of cider (or sharp apple wine)150 ml / quarter pint chicken stock (from giblets)

1. Mix flour, salt and pepper on a plate and coat joints well.

2. Heat fat in large saute or frying pan until quite hot; brown joints all over, turning once or twice (about 4 minutes).

3. Add onion and carrot coated in rest of flour, turn over in pan for 1 minute, push aside.

4. Place apple quarters and peas, if fresh, in the pan. Pour over cider or apple wine. This will sizzle. Add stock, allow to boil and reduce heat until simmering.

5. Cook 30 minutes with lid on. Frozen or tinned peas (well drained) can be added now. Cook another 10 minutes.

Arrange on a hot dish, sprinkle chicken with chopped parsley and arrange triangle of toast around edge. Or serve with new potatoes tossed in butter.

I usually buy a smoked gammon joint weighing 1.2 kg at Somerfields, I either soak it in cold water overnight or put it in a saucepan, putting enough cold water in the pan to cover the joint, then bring it to the boil. Throw the water away, if you have a pressure cooker put the gammon in the pan with enough water to come halfway up the joint, then add one bayleaf. I make several cuts into the leaf to get as much flavour from it. Next add five black peppercorns to the liquid and 1-2 tablespoons of black treacle to go on the top of the joint. I cook my joint for about 30 minutes.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker the Somerfield label has the times on the back of it, all you will have to add will be the flavourings.

If you like your gammon on the moist side, once it is cooked put the joint in a close fitting basin, pour some of the cooking fluid into the basin and cover the meat with a plate. Put a heavy weight onto the plate, make sure that the plate is only resting on the meat not the basin rim, leave in a cool place overnight. Drain away the remaining fluid and make a wonderful sandwich as a treat for yourself!

Do try this recipe, I have a friend who is a butcher and he reckons this is one of the best tasting gammons he’s eaten. Best of luck!

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