Gratinated truffled poached chicken with saffron rice and broccoli

This was a lovely meal, even though there was a fair amount of work involved in preparing and cooking it.

First, a free range chicken was prepared for the pot by pushing some slices of bottled black truffles under the skin and tying it with string.

This was then poached for about an hour in water with leeks, carrots, shallots in their skins, salt, pepper and a bouquet garni.

After an hour, the heat was switched off and the chicken was allowed to cook in the stock. This is a technique that is used a lot in Chinese cuisine and is called White Cooking.

Once cooled, the breasts were removed and skinned and the rest of the bird set aside for another meal.

The strained stock was used to make a rich cheese and cream sauce, using Comté cheese and Dijon mustard and the slices of truffle were added in.

The chicken was gratinated in the sauce and I cooked some Basmati rice in more stock, flavoured and coloured with saffron.

Some steamed broccoli made up the vegetable component for a lovely Sunday evening dinner.

Honey and mustard roasted bacon loin with broccoli cheese and a jacket potato

One of our local butcher’s shops on Gloucester Rd, Dave Giles, sells lovely bacon joints and this was made with one of them.

The meat was smeared with a mixture of honey and whole-grain mustard and baked in a Gas Mark 6 oven for about two hours.

To accompany this, we had jacket potatoes and broccoli in a cheese sauce, also baked in the over, in the same way as the more common cauliflower cheese.

Cheese and bacon is a lovely combination, as is cheese and potato, so there really wasn’t going to be many problems with cheese, bacon and potato on the same plate.