Chicken and chestnut fricasee

by Leah Halmagyi


  • 300g chestnuts
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 3 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • size 20 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • ½ cup flour
  • sea salt flakes and freshly-milled black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup vermouth
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 10ml cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 bunch parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup soy beans, blanched


1 Preheat oven to 200°C. Use a small sharp knife to cut a cross in the side of each chestnut then bake for 20 minutes, until the shell begins to curl. While hot, peel away the shell and the fine inner skin. Set aside.
2 Sauté the leek, celery, carrots, thyme and garlic in half the olive oil in an oven-proof saucepan for 5 minutes until softened. Meanwhile, toss the chicken pieces in flour and season with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining oil and butter in a skillet over a high heat, then fry the chicken pieces until well-browned. Add to the saucepan skin-side up. Pour in the vermouth and stock, then bake for 20 minutes.
3 Stir the cream and yolks in a bowl, then mix in 2 cups of the cooking liquid. Return to the saucepan and stir in. Add the parsley and soy beans, then serve.