Chicken And Bacon Casserole

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4 large chicken joints
30 ml (2 level tbsps. ) flour
freshly ground black pepper
45 ml (3 tbsps. ) corn oil
25 g (1 oz.) butter
4 rashers of back bacon, rinded
1 small onion, 50 g (2 oz.), skinned and finely chopped
1chicken stock cube
300 ml (1 pt.) water
4 large tomatoes, skinned and quartered
fried croutons and chopped parsley for garnish

Remove the skin from the chicken and discard it. Put the flour and some pepper into a large paper bag and toss the chicken joints in it, two at a time, to coat them well.

Heat the oil and butter together in a large frying pan or, better still, use a flameproof casserole which will take the joints in a single layer. Fry the joints until browned. Drain and put on one side.

Pour off the excess fat. Add the bacon, cut in narrow strips, and fry gently until the fat starts to run. Add the onion and continue to fry until it is beginning to brown.

Stir in any excess flour left from coating the chicken, add the crumbled stock cube and gradually stir in the water. Bring to the boil, stirring, and add the tomatoes.

At this stage, turn the mixture into a wide, shallow casserole, if a flameproof one was not used for the initial cooking. Arrange the chicken, flesh side down, in the casserole, and cover tightly. Cook in the oven at 170° C (325° F / mark 3) for about 1 1/4 hours, until the chicken is fork-tender.

Keep the chicken joints warm while reducing the liquor to a glaze by fast boiling. Arrange the chicken in the casserole and spoon the reduced liquid over.

Garnish with fried croutons and chopped parsley.

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