Slow-cooked chicken and celeriac


As I was bereft at not being able to buy iceberg lettuce in bulk I consoled myself by making slow-cooked chicken and celeriac with lemon last weekend. The recipe is based on one by Ottolenghi – see here.

First get your chicken – we had the spare Rhode Island Red Cockerel – things aren’t good for the long term round here if you are the spare.

By accident I came across two articles about chicken this week so there might be a bit of a rant below so feel free to skip down to the recipe – the recipe is really very very good and makes use of seasonal root vegetables (and lemons, but really a life without lemons is just a husk of a life).


I don’t want to tell you what to buy, but really, try not to buy chickens that have had their beaks mutilated and have been crammed into sheds with only the vague promise of free-ranging outside – free-range isn’t always actually free-range for every bird – and let’s not even mention the horrific conditions most chickens are kept in – barn-raised sounds so quaint but the reality is somewhat different.

OK,  it appears that I do want to tell you what to buy – my bad …. I read a post on the food website the Kitchn (bit of a distraction from writing) during the week and saw this post 16 things to do with chicken when you’re bored and sick of chicken  – apparently some people find ‘turning to chicken for dinner is more of an obligation that something they look eagerly forward to’ …. oh really?

I mean wtf?? How about stop eating chicken if you are bored with it – eat something without meat or with a different protein instead. Why would you consume an animal if you were not going to totally enjoy it? Why would you eat an animal that someone has had to kill, just to go “blurgh, I am so bored and sick of chicken” ?

I bet if you had to kill every chicken you ate you wouldn’t get “bored and sick of chicken”. The day I stop enjoying chicken will be the day I stop killing and eating them – duh duh duh – think it through people …

This did us for two meals – I use more celeriac than chicken because I want to guard against getting bored and sick of chicken …. less blood spilled if you suddenly go off celeriac!

shallots and celeriac.jpg

Slow-cooked chicken and celeriac with lemon: 2 legs of a chicken; three small-ish celeriac (or one of the giant ones grown by people who are better at growing than I am!); big handful of shallots or onions; 3 lemons; 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1/4 tsp chilli flakes; 1.5 tsp of ground cumin; olive oil; 3 bay leaves; 2 garlic cloves;some thyme leaves; seasoning

Mix the fennel, chilli, cumin and some olive oil in a bowl and them smear all over the chicken. Brown the chicken in a large casserole dish in some more olive oil. remove fr the dish. Cut the celeriac into chip-sized wedges and brown in the same pan – remove. Then cook the shallots (cut in half or in wedges) with the chopped garlic, the thyme and bay and the peel of one of the lemons. Remove from the pan. Layer up the celeriac, half the onion mix, the chicken legs and top with the rest of the onions. Add in 100ml of water and the juice of two lemons. Cover and cook gently until you have finished doing what you have to do – at least 2 hours, maybe more. The chicken should fall off the bones.

off the bone.jpg

Help it along, remove the bones and add the juice of one more lemon to the dish. I served it with couscous the first day and rice the second day.

bones removed.jpg

It wasn’t boring and it didn’t make us sick!


N.B. there are far too many thoughtless, incompetent, ignorant and quite frankly rude people in my life – conveniently they are often to be found in one place …. avoid the place, avoid the people and if that isn’t a lesson for life, I am not sure what is.


7 responses to “Slow-cooked chicken and celeriac

  1. That looks delicious!!! I am going to give the recipe a try today. I raised chickens when I was young and had to kill them every year. I often say that anyone that eats meat should understand what they are really doing… and the best way is to raise an animal from baby to adult, kill it, prepare it and then eat it. I raised a beef from calf to adult… bottle fed it… etc… and while I was attached it was me that had to take it off to be “butchered”… I later ate it… yes I admit that it kind of sucked having to eat all of my pets… but I sure didn’t waste any of the meat and didn’t take what I was doing for granite… but ate with “thanksgiving”. We are often too far removed from the world we live in.

    • Hope you enjoy it Adam. I completely agree with you about people understanding what meat is and where it comes from. Wow …. eating your pets (that did make me laugh – sorry) … that is intense, but actually children and adults should know where their food comes from – maybe they would not waste so much meat if they did. 🙂

  2. L. O. V. E. you Claire.
    As a very wise woman once told me a long time ago “most people are just not deep. Not deep thinkers, feelers. They so do not look at the world through eyes like yours and mine”.
    Very frustrating and sad to me but it helps me cope in some small way.
    I’m glad you have “the sight”.

  3. Pingback: Is that Friday I see? | smallholding dreams·

  4. I have to say I find general meat purchasing pretty frustrating. We’re avid carnivores but only on the weekend when we eat organic, free range high welfare and (where possible) locally sourced meat. We’re more or less vegetarian during the week. I can’t imagine how people can justify eating torture meat, it’s a horrible thought. And I agree with you, it’s awful to think of them not even stopping to think that the meat they’re dismissing is there because an animal died for it. This is why we’re rearing our own meat birds this year. I met someone whose whole flock turned out to be male last year (that’s a LOT of coq au vin) so will be keeping this to use should we have the same outcome!

    • Yay for rearing your own meat birds – how fantastic. What breed are you rearing. We used to rear naked necks – massive birds, but sturdy – their legs don’t break if they get older than 10 weeks or so – in fact they live for years and lay reasonably well too. Now I rear and keep dual purpose chickens such as marans and Ixworths – the hens lay reasonably well and the cockerels get to a reasonable size and we kill them at around 6 months or so. At this age I don’t think they need to be slow cooked – although I really like slow-cooking them – they are fine to cook anyway you like. Good luck with your new chicken adventures 🙂

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