- 1 whole free-range chicken
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for dressing the beans
- 200 g leeks, washed and sliced
- 100 g baby fennel bulbs, washed and shalved lengthways
- 2 T chicken stock powder
- 1 ½ cups cream
- 1 thyme, sprig
- 150 g fennel fronds, chopped
- 150 g French beans, trimmed
- ¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Rub the chicken with salt and pepper and half the olive oil. Roast the chicken for 1 hour, or until golden and crispy.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a pan. Gently fry the leeks and fennel. Add the chicken stock powder and cream, stirring frequently. Add the thyme and simmer for 6–10 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the thyme. Add the fennel fronds and stir through. Set aside until ready to serve.
Blanch the beans for 2 minutes. Drain and toss in olive oil and season to taste.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Roughly pull the meat (with skin on) from the carcass. Arrange the meat on a serving platter and spoon over the leek-and-fennel sauce. Top with the French beans and garnish with the parsley.
Khanya on cooking: “I believe that being able to cook is definitely like possessing a type of magic. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of having to figure out what to make with the last can of beans and an onion at the end of the month. Learn about ingredients so that you can always enjoy what you eat, no matter what it is. I grew up around a lot of abject poverty in the Eastern Cape, and that environment taught me plenty about what enjoying food really means and how powerful the ability to cook a meal with next to nothing can make you.”