The grand Ripotot Hotel in Champagnole(now closed unfortunately)
On a mission to buy bottle tops and corks for our oil, I wandered around the nearby town of Champagnole, feeling rather peckish .It’s also known as “La Porte du Haut Jura”, or the door to the High Jura, being the last biggish town before the mountains. After consuming a simple vegetable soup at lunchtime, I felt the need for something more consistent, maybe some meat…With only 10€ in my pocket, I decided to invest in a good free-range chicken, which I hope to be able make at least 2 meals out of, using what I already have in the kitchen. The sunny weather at the moment is more reminiscent of Provence and the Mediterranean – doesn’t really make me want to do a traditional wintry, roast chicken. In the fridge, I found an almost empty jar of “value” green olives. The fruit bowl is overflowing with lemons at the moment – it’s prime season and they are very affordable. I would normally christen the chicken in white wine, but we don’t have any…aha we have some Jerez (Sherry) vinegar, a well-received Christmas gift.This is actually very similar to our local vinegar(vinaigre de Savagnin), of which we have run out. See below for the results! A succulent, smooth lemony chicken, punctuated by the firm texture of the nutty olives and with a hint of sweetness from the matured vinegar and a touch of honey.
Lemon Chicken With Green Olives and “Jerez” Vinegar
Place the chicken in a large pan and cover with a good glug of olive oil(not expensive stuff, it would lose its properties during the cooking process).
Brown the chicken on both sides, on a medium heat, for a few minutes.
Add a handful of green olives along with the about a third of the salty water, in which they were preserved in the jar.
Add a scattering of “herbes de provence” and a few bay leaves.
Quarter an unwaxed lemon.
Squeeze the juice of 2 of the quarters onto the chicken, then place them all in the pan.
Season (careful with the salt, as the olives already add a salty flavour).
Spread a good teaspoonful of honey onto the chicken.
Cover and cook on a low heat for 90 minutes.
Once it has been cooking for about half an hour, drizzle a tablespoon or two of vinegar onto the chicken.
Repeat this about 15 minutes before serving.
Serve with boiled potatoes and carrots.