This Chicken and Broccoli Gratin is simply outstanding. It is incredibly delicious and the wearer of many hats. It can be made hours ahead and baked on cue. It is one of my all time favourite dishes, perhaps even in my top three. I cannot recommend it enough.
Put your whole chicken in a snug fitting casserole dish along with the onion, carrot, peppercorns, bay leaf and pour over enough chicken stock to just cover the chicken. Season with salt and black pepper. Slowly bring to the boil and then simmer until cooked. About 45 mins/hour for the whole chicken and fifteen/twenty for the breasts. If cooking the breasts then use all the stock.
Blanche the broccoli until just tender, drain and set aside to cool.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to cool. Strip the meat from the carcass. I just rip it into chunks.
Strain the cooking liquid and return to the pan. Boil until reduced to about a pint and a half left of liquid. I have a measuring jug handy to check. I blitz the remaining veg from the pot in the food processor and add it back into the broth.
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Make the roux simply by melting the butter and then adding the flour over a low heat for a few mins in a saucepan. Pour in the reduced chicken broth, cream and wine and bring back to the boil stirring with a whisk constantly until thickened into a beautiful sauce. Season to taste.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli in your intended baking dish.
Mix the cheese and breadcrumbs together in a bowl and then drizzle over the oil. Mix again well before sprinkling it over the top of your chicken mix.
Bake for about 30/45 mins or until golden brown and bubbling.
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