I turn to my two favourite books, Monet’s Cookery Notebooks and Koo Stark's Little Paris Kitchen. Quick and easy ideas with great results! Why not make a “Chicken pot” and a “Potato pie”? Chop enough onions for both items. I won’t give quantities because of course it depends on how many people you are cooking for. You’ll know which size of dishes you are using.
Fry the onions until they are soft using half butter and half olive oil. Take out half of the cooked onions and put aside for your potato dish. Add chopped bacon to the remaining onions—cook, then remove both from the pan. If you are cooking a whole chicken to feed several people or a few thighs just for yourself, now is the time to carefully brown them on all sides. Put the bacon and onion mixture into the casserole and cover it all with white wine. You could use red if you prefer, Cover with a tightly fitting lid and braise for 2 hours in a medium oven. Twenty minutes before the end add some chopped mushrooms. At this stage I crumble in a Knorr Vegetable stock cube and some crushed garlic.
To make the pie to accompany it is simple. Butter well and line a dish with your favourite pastry rolled out very thinly. Fill the dish with thinly sliced potatoes, the cooked onion, a tub of double cream and a beaten egg. Then fit the pastry lid. Very important is to insert a funnel to let the steam escape. If you don’t have one, roll a piece of cardboard and press it into the centre of the lid. Cook it at the same time as the chicken dish, but if the pastry gets too brown - cover with foil. You will of course have brushed the pastry lightly with beaten egg.
Bon Appétit and enjoy January,