"The comfort meal of all comfort meals – silky lasagne sheets, succulent chicken, freshly grated Parmesan.” – Bianca Strydom
- 1 whole free-range chicken
- 2 onions, halved
- 4 sticks celery, roughly chopped
- 1 bulb fennel, halved
- 4 leeks, halved
- 4 cloves garlic, bruised
- 1 fresh bay leaves
- 1 bunch thyme sprigs
- 1 lemon, halved
- 8 sheets lasagne
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 T butter
- a handful Italian parsley
- 400 g can chickpeas
- sea salt, to taste
- green peppercorns, ground, to taste
- Parmesan, grated, for serving
1. Place the chicken in a large saucepan and add the onions, celery, fennel, leeks, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and lemon, and cover with water.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour and 35 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. To check whether the chicken is cooked, slice down the breastbone and check that the meat is cooked.
3. At the 1-hour mark, add the lasagne sheets, olive oil, butter, parsley and chickpeas with their brine and cook until the pasta is al dente. Season the broth and serve with freshly grated Parmesan.
Cook's note: Serve leftover chicken on toasted ciabatta with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. You could also double the broth recipe to serve the next day over wild rice. Freeze leftover broth.
Photographs: Jan Ras
Food assistant: Leila-Ann Mokatedi