Roasted chicken parcels with kohlrabi slaw recipe

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Apple orchards are a fixture of the agricultural landscape of Brittany and Normandy, so it is no surprise that the drink of choice is cider and, for those wanting to put a little hair on their chest, calvados. I tasted a surprising cider from Sacha Crommar, who is part of a local group of producers experimenting with and refining traditional techniques in the region. To make his Cidre Chataigne, the pressed juice is fermented with chestnuts, adding an earthy complexity. That combination of tastes inspired this dish; perfect for a lazy Sunday lunch and easily prepared in advance the chicken can be stuffed and kept in the fridge, covered, for up to 48 hours.

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 45 Minutes


  • 4 large boneless chicken thighs, skin on
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 small apple, finely diced
  • 1 cup (100 g) shelled walnuts, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup (120 g) cooked and peeled chestnuts, crushed into crumbs
  • 8 to 12 slices of cooked bacon
  • 1¼ cups dry cider
For the Slaw
  • 1 kohlrabi or celeriac, peeled and grated
  • ½ apple, unpeeled, grated
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Spread out each thigh, skin-side down. Chop half a shallot very finely and mix it with the apple, walnuts, and chestnuts. Divide the stuffing among the middles of the thighs, then fold over the sides of the meat so it covers the stuffing and joins in the middle. Secure with a toothpick through each end and one through the middle.
  2. Wrap 2 or 3 slices of bacon around the sides, securing them with a toothpick. Take a length of butcher’s string and wrap up the chicken parcel as pictured on the facing page.
  3. Chop the rest of the shallots roughly and scatter in a baking dish. Arrange the chicken thighs on top and pour in the cider. Bake for 45 minutes or until the juices run clear when the thigh is tested.
  4. Just before serving, make the slaw: Mix together the kohlrabi and apple. Drizzle with the lemon juice and oil and season with salt.
  5. Remove the toothpicks from the chicken and serve atop the slaw. Drizzle some of the remaining pan juices over the top.

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