Chicken & Merguez stew


  • 4 onions
  • 5 Merguez sausages (300g)
  • 1 x 1.2kg whole free-range chicken
  • 12 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 x 400g tins of mixed beans


Peel, halve and roughly slice the onions, then place in a large casserole pan on a medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Squeeze the meat from 1 of the sausages into the pan and fry for 20 minutes, stirring regularly and breaking up the sausage. Meanwhile, carefully cut up the chicken (you’ll need to split the legs into thighs and drumsticks and remove the wings), and cut the breast into quarters (on the bone) – have a go at this yourself, or ask your butcher to do it for you.

Remove the stalks from 8 of the bay leaves, bash the leaves to a mush with a pinch of sea salt in a pestle and mortar, then muddle in 1 tablespoon each of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Rub half of the marinade all over the chicken, getting into all the nooks and crannies. Put a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and brown the remaining sausages with the thighs, drumsticks and wings, transferring them to the casserole pan when beautifully golden. Brown the breast skin side down for 3 minutes, then transfer to the casserole pan. Meanwhile, drain one of the tins of beans, then tip both tins into the casserole pan with the rest of the bay leaves. Gently mix together, then turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes with the lid on, or until beautifully tender. Drizzle over the rest of the bay marinade, to serve.