I was recently sent some Stella Artois Cidre Raspberry and challenged to come up with a recipe using it. As you know I love nothing more than a challenge, especially when it is a challenge which involves food and recipes. This was particularly challenging as, being a Latter Day Saint . . . ie. Mormon, that means I do not drink alcohol, which meant that whatever I used it in would have to be cooked so that the alcohol would cook off.
Stella Artois Cidre Raspberry is made using a Belgian recipe, for a sophisticated taste. Hand-picked apples are pressed and combined with crushed raspberries to create a cider bursting with fruit flavour.
"The new Stella Artois Cidre Raspberry has been carefully crafted according to a unique Belgian recipe, which uses hand-picked, crushed raspberries to deliver a sophisticated fruit cider with a refreshing, crisp tast."
I decided to try something savoury . . . and since we eat a lot of chicken in this house, chicken was the natural choice for me to choose to work with.
As I pondered what to do with it the telly was on. Donny Osmond was on Saturday Kitchen, and James Martin was pot roasting a chicken and I thought why not. It seemed the logical choice and I just happened to have a whole roasting chicken in my refrigerator! I was inspired!
I sat and pondered what flavours went well with raspberries . . . that would also be compatible with chicken and this is what I came up with. Raspberries are fruity . . . so are apricots. Sounds decent enough . . . and those are fruity flavours that you often will see in a chicken salad, but then my creative nature took it a further step . . .
I cut up some dried apricots and place them in the bottom of the roaster. I had some preserved lemons that I had made several months back . . . lemon seemed a great choice to put with these flavours . . . and so I added some chopped preserved lemon . . . a bay leaf . . . some thyme from my kitchen garden . . . grated ginger. These all went in the bottom of the roasting casserole, along with some seasoning . . . and a broken stick of cinnamon (only 1 inch) and . . . stay with me here . . . 1 inch of a vanilla pod which I split and scraped. I know . . . it seems a stretch, but trust me on this . . .
I mixed together some grated ginger, lemon zest, cinnamon and some seasoning. I then rubbed this all over the outside of the chicken and as inside as I could get. I set it on top of all of the aromatics and fruit in the bottom of the roaster and grated just a touch of vanilla over the top . . . just a touch mind . . . and then I poured a whole bottle of Stella Artois Cidre Raspberry around it in the bottom of the pan.
I covered it tightly and then slowly roasted it in the oven until the chicken was meltingly tender . . . and the pan juices had reduced. I removed and discarded the vanilla pod and cinnamon stick, along with the bay leaf. The pan juices were mashed with my potato masher and I added chicken stock and enough cream to make a sauce, heating it through.
THIS WAS TOTALLY FABULOUS! BEST POT ROASTED CHICKEN I HAVE EVER EATEN!
I kid you not! We all loved it and judged it the best ever chicken dish I have cooked to date! Who knew that something which sounded so odd could turn out so wonderful! Sometimes I surprise even myself.
*Pot Roasted Chicken with Raspberry Cider*Serves 4
2 TBS grated fresh ginger, divided
the zest of half a lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
a grating of vanilla pod (optional)150g of dried apricots, cut in half
This was really delicious. We all really enjoyed it very much. I guess I will have to indulge myself in a bottle of this fabulous Cidre Raspberry every now and again. Many thanks to the people at Stella Artois for setting me up for this challenge. I hope they are happy with my results! This was a simple supper which tasted like a celebration. I think it would be a great dinner party dish for over the holidays. It practically cooked itself.
Stella Artois Cidre Raspberry is available at grocers across the UK in both 500ml and 300ml bottles. (The 300ml in 4 and 8 multi-packs and the larger one as a single bottle.)