Makes about 2 x 400g (14 oz) jars.
340g (11¾ oz) cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 large pinch of ground cinnamon
1 large pinch of ground ginger
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
175g (6 oz) light muscavado sugar
Place the cranberries (no need to defrost if they are frozen), cinnamon, ginger and the orange juice in a small saucepan and cook over a low heat, with the lid on, stirring regularly, for about 6-7 minutes, until the cranberries have burst. Take off the heat and stir in the grated orange zest and the sugar. Pour into sterilised jars (see page 177).
Tip: to sterilise jars, either put them through a cycle in your dishwasher, boil them for 5 minutes in a pan of water or place in an oven preheated to 150ºC (300ºF), Gas Mark 2 for 10 minutes.
For the filling
1 chicken about 2.25kg (5lb)
2 carrots, peeled and halved
1 celery stick, halved
1 onion, peeled and halved
Sprig of fresh thyme and fresh parsley
1 litre (1 ¾ pints) water or light chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
250ml (8 floz) single cream
Roux (2 tbsp butter mixed with 3 tbsp plain flour)
450g (1 lb) button mushrooms, cut in half
25g (1oz) butter
400g (14oz) cooked ham, chopped into 2cm (3/4in) cubes
450g (1lb) peas
6 eggs, hard boiled for 10 minutes, peeled and chopped roughly
2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
For the topping
400g (140 oz) puff or flaky pastry, rolled to 5mm (1/4 in) thick
1 egg, beaten, to glaze
1.75kg (3 ¾ lb) mashed potato
Remove the giblets from inside the chicken and discard. Place the whole chicken in a large saucepan or casserole pot, add the carrots, celery, onion, thyme and parsley and the water or light chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper, cover with a lid and simmer for 1 ¼ hours (or pop into a moderate oven) until the chicken is cooked. You will know when its cooked as the leg will feel quite loose when you pull it from the carcass and the juices run clear when pierced.
If you have a pastry topping, preheat the oven to 230°C (450°) Gas Mark 8. For mashed potato, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4.
Take the chicken out of the pot and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Remove the vegetables and herbs from the liquid in the pot and pour in the cream. Bring up to the boil, then whisk in some roux (about 2-3 tablespoons but start with 1 tablespoon) until it has thickened slightly. The liquid must keep boiling while you add the roux in order to thicken.
Heat the butter in a pan over a high heat and fry the mushrooms for 4 minutes or until soft. Remove the meat from the chicken carcass, chop roughly and place in a large pie dish (about 25 x 35 cm (10 x 14 in), then add the chopped ham, peas (these can be straight from the freezer), chopped hard boiled eggs, browned mushrooms and the chopped tarragon. Season to taste. If you are making this in advance, don't add the topping until just before you're ready to cook.
For a puff or flaky pastry top: cut the pastry to the same size as the top of the pie dish and arrange on top, making a hole in the centre to allow steam to escape. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg to give it a nice glaze. Cook it in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn down the oven to 190°C (375°F), Gas Mark 5 and cook for another 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the mixture is bubbling hot.
For a mashed potato top: arrange the mashed potato on top of the chicken mixture and lightly score the surface. Place in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top and bubbling hot.
4 peaches or nectarines
25g (1oz) brown sugar
2 tbsp Marsala, sweet sherry or lemon juice
4 egg whites
250g (9oz) light brown sugar or caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas mark 4. Cut the peaches in half (there's no need to peel them) and remove the stones. Slice the peaches about 5mm (1/4 in) thick and lay in a 1.25 litre (2 1/4 pint) pie dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar and drizzle with the Marsala, sherry or lemon juice. If the peaches are not very ripe and juicy (although they should be ripe enough to eat), pop them into the oven for 5 minutes to cook, while you make the meringue. If they are very ripe and juicy there is no need to do this.
To make them meringue, whisk the egg whites in a bowl with an electric beater until stiff. Still beating, gradually add the light brown sugar and continue to beat until the meringue holds stiff peaks. Spoon the meringue on top of the peaches and cook in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the meringue feels slightly firm in the centre and is a deep golden colour on top.
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