On the SEVENTEENTH day of Christmas The Spice Trader gave to me:

JUNIPER BERRIES

JUNIPER BERRIES are native to the Mediterranean, Russia, and Norway. Their flavour is piney with notes of turpentine, and they are most famous for their use in the making of gin.

Here is a recipe for chicken with rosemary and juniper.

A light and delicious dish. For a richer result, add a splash of cream at the end. Serve with boiled potatoes, rice or pasta. Serves four to six.

4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
6 small garlic cloves, bashed to break the skins but left unpeeled
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary, plus extra to garnish
4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra for finishing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 chicken, jointed, or about 1.5kg of chicken pieces
500ml white wine
300ml chicken stock
1 tbsp juniper berries, lightly crushed

In large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or casserole, heat half the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme; fry gently until the onions are soft and translucent – about 15 minutes. Remove the onion mix from the pan and set aside. When cool enough to handle, remove the garlic skins.

Season the chicken pieces. Pour the rest of the oil into the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Brown the chicken on all sides and transfer to a plate.

Pour the wine into the pan and let it simmer for a few minutes, stirring to remove any tasty brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, juniper and onion mix, bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes. Return the chicken to the pan, along with any juices, and simmer gently, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.

Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to thicken slightly. Taste and season as necessary. Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over the top and garnish with a little more thyme and rosemary.

RECIPE IS FROM HUGH FEARNLEY-WHITTINGSTALL

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