3 whole chicken breasts
1 carrot, 1 onion and 1 stick of celery, all cut in chunks
4 sprigs each fresh thyme and parsley
¼ tsp black peppercorns
6 dried apricots
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp mild curry paste or powder
1 tsp tomato paste
100 ml red wine
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
200 g jar mayonnaise
4 tbsp cream fraîche or whipped cream
Rice salad and chopped parsley to serve
Put the chicken, vegetables, herbs and peppercorns into a deep pan and add water to cover. Bring to the boil, cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked, then let it cool in the fluid.
While the chicken is cooling, soak the apricots in boiling water.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion until very soft. Stir in the curry and tomato paste and cook for a minute more. Add the wine, lemon juice, sugar and the finely chopped apricots, together with three tablespoons of their soaking fluid and season well with salt and pepper.
Bring it all to the boil, lower the heat and cover the pan, then simmer gently for 10 minutes. Tip the contents of the pan into a sieve standing over a bowl and, using the back of a ladle, push as much through as possible.
Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Mix the mayonnaise and crème fraîche in a bowl and add enough of the curry sauce to flavour it to taste, then fold in the chicken. Cover with clingfilm and chill until ready to serve. Serve with a rice salad and sprinkle with parsley. (Serves 6)