Sometimes also called 'stovies' this Scottish recipe derives from the French etouffer, to cook in a closed pot, and dates from the strong Scottish/French links of the seventeenth century. It makes a filling family dish which can safely be left to its own devices; a little extra cooking time will not spoil the flavour.
25 g (1 oz) butter
15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
4 chicken quarters, halved
100 g (4 oz) lean back bacon, rinded and chopped
1.1 kg (2 1/2 lb) floury potatoes, such as King Edwards, peeled and cut into 0.5 cm (1/4 inch) slices
2 large onions, skinned and sliced
salt and pepper
10 ml (2 tsp) chopped fresh thyme or 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) dried thyme
568 ml (1 pint) chicken stock
fresh chives, to garnish
1. Heat half of the butter and the oil in a large frying pan and fry the chicken and bacon for 5 minutes, until lightly browned.
2. Place a thick layer of potato slices, then onion slices, in the base of a large ovenproof casserole. Season well, add the thyme and dot with half the remaining butter.
3. Add the chicken and bacon, season to taste and dot with the remaining butter. Cover with the remaining onions and finally a layer of potatoes. Season and dot with butter. Pour over the stock.
4. Cover and bake at 150°C (300°F) mark 2 for about 2 hours, until the chicken is tender and the potatoes are cooked, adding a little more hot stock if necessary.
5. Just before serving sprinkle with snipped chives.