Chicken cooked with Tea & Leeks

We love slow cooking in winter. Did you know you can add Nerada Tea to your favourite stew or casserole instead of water to give it a very rich smooth flavour? Just make a big pot of Nerada, allow to brew, and strain it in! Tea goes especially well with fattier meats such as lamb, pork and chicken. Try this one-pot chicken dish – a great change from the standard roast chicken.


1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and black pepper
1.8kg chicken (whole, preferably with giblets)
1 tablespoon olive oil
200g bacon, chopped
250g small pickling onions
4-6 small potatoes (about 500g)
6 medium carrots
325ml hot Nerada black tea
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
3 leeks, washed, whites only


Preheat oven to 200C. In a cup, mix the butter with the spring onions, garlic, salt and pepper, and rub the inside dried cavity of the bird. Skewer or tie into shape is desired. In a heavy oven-proof casserole dish with lid, heat the oil and fry the bacon until crisp. Leaving the fat, remove the bacon to a plate and fry the chopped giblets (if using) until brown. Set aside on a second plate, then add the chicken, brown all over then set aside. Fry small onions until glazed, set aside and then fry potatoes and carrots, adding more oil if necessary. Once browned, remove from pan.

Return the chicken to the pot (breast side up) and surround with giblets, carrots and potatoes, and pour on the hot, strained, fresh black tea. Add the herbs, more salt and pepper, and lay leeks, cut into 10cm lengths, around the chicken. Cover and cook in the over for about 1 hour, turning the chicken twice (it should end up with the breast on top). Also turn the vegetables during this time, being careful not to break up the leeks. After 30 minutes add the pre-fried pickling onions and bacon, and cook for another 30 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear.

To serve, place chicken on a heated dish and surround with vegetables, placing leeks on top. Rest in the oven. Meanwhile, reduce juices in pan over low heat. Correct seasoning, add a knob of butter and a small amount of flour if you wish to thicken the gravy. Glaze the chicken and vegetables with the gravy, serving any remaining gravy separately.