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    Olia Hercules' chicken with herb and garlic butter

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    Olia Hercules' chicken with herb and garlic butter

    This recipe has been inspired by chicken tabaka (Georgian spatchcock baby chicken), which my mum cooked for us when we were little. Cooking chicken under a weight means the butter, garlic and chicken juices mingle to create the most delicious sauce. The herb combination may sound unusual, but it really works.

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus resting
    • Cooking time: 40 minutes
    • Total time: 50 minutes, plus resting

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    2 tbsp mild olive oil
    6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
    40g unsalted butter
    2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
    ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    1 tbsp chopped tarragon
    1 tbsp chopped basil
    1 tbsp chopped coriander
    1 tbsp chopped dill 
    6 buns 
    handful lettuce leaves

    Method

    1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan. Season the chicken thighs and cook skin-side down for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat. Flip them over and for a further 5 minutes.

    2. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and add the butter, garlic and cayenne to the pan. Place a cartouche (a circle of baking parchment) over the chicken, followed by a smaller frying pan on top. Weigh it all down with something heavy, such as a couple of cans of baked beans. This will make the chicken cook more quickly, release all the juices into the butter and make the tastiest garlic butter in the world.

    3. Cook for 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. Lift the thighs out of the pan and rest on a chopping board for 5 minutes. Stir the herbs through the buttery juices, then pull off the chicken meat and stir through (discard the bones, but add the skin, if liked). Season and wrap in foil to keep warm. Stuff the chicken, along with some lettuce, into the buns when you get to the picnic.

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