Renata’s Chicken

A few years back now, I worked with a lady called Renata. Originally from Poland, she had made London her home. We nattered a lot, usually about how she was transforming her studio flat into something that actually had storage space. Her design ideas were beautiful. Every stair up to her sleeping platform was a deep drawer, and very cleverly done.

She left to go on to a different company in 2013, but whenever I make this I think of her, as she gave me this very simple recipe during one of our many chats.

Dried marjoram – a LOT. I’d say at least 3 tbs per chicken piece
6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in. Do NOT use breast for this, it will be as dry as a very dry thing
3 apples, quartered, pips out, but not peeled
1 tbs olive oil

Use a lidded pot that is large enough to get all the chicken pieces in skin side down.
Heat the oil, and brown the chicken pieces all over.
Turn them skin side down, tuck all the apple pieces in between them, and sprinkle very liberally with marjoram.
Literally carpet the lot. You want a veritable herb drift in there. Don’t panic, it cooks down, and it is a mild herb.
Add enough water to just cover the chicken.
Place a good slice of butter on top of each chicken piece. That will cook down with the water and create lots of lovely juices.
Place in the oven at 160C fan, 150C and cook until the chicken is tender, and the liquid has reduced way down.
I think mine took about 45 minutes to an hour. If the liquid hasn’t reduced as much as you would like, cook with the lid off for a few minutes, but do check that the herbs don’t burn.
The pot will look like a mess, but soak it in very hot water with washing powder, and it’ll clean up fine.

I essentially just pull the chicken apart, and serve it, plus the apple pieces and any juices over rice.

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