Spring chicken with asparagus, Jersey Royals & mint pesto

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A vibrant recipe incorporating a selection of the season’s best ingredients. 

Serves 4

6 chicken thighs (deboned & skinned) cut in half
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp seasoned plain flour
500g Jersey Royals, halved
450ml chicken stock
200g baby spinach leaves
a small bunch of spring onions, sliced (white part only)
12 British asparagus spears
150g shelled broad beans

For the pesto
20g mint leaves
10g parsley leaves
10g basil leaves
40g pine nuts
40g Parmesan cheese, coarse grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ lemon
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • To make the pesto, place the first six pesto ingredients in a food processor and briefly blitz to roughly chop. Drizzle in some olive oil whilst intermittently blitzing with the pulse button until a loose pesto consistency is formed. Add a squeeze of lemon and season to taste. (The pesto can be done by hand if you don’t have a food processor.)
  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan. Dust the chicken pieces all over with seasoned flour then lightly brown them. Add the potatoes, stock and some freshly ground black pepper then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus and the broad beans. Bend the asparagus spears until they snap then discard the woody ends. Use a vegetable peeler to neaten the snapped ends. Steam for 2-3 minutes until just tender then drain and refresh in cold water. Boil the broad beans for 3-4 minutes then drain and refresh in cold water before removing the skins.
  • Stir the baby spinach leaves and sliced spring onions in amongst the chicken and potatoes and simmer for 2 minutes until the spinach has wilted. Sprinkle the podded broad beans over the chicken and potatoes and place the asparagus spears on top, cover and gently simmer for a further 2 minutes.
  • Divide amongst four large, shallow bowls and top with a generous spoonful of mint pesto.

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