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Irish Chicken & Bacon Press Recipe

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Chicken & Bacon Press
From Irish Traditional Cooking (Canada, UK), by Darina Allen.

This recipe was handed down through Myrtle Allen's family, and is still in frequent use. Originally it was a handy way of using up a boiling fowl past its prime, but nowadays it is almost impossible to find a boiling fowl, either before or after its prime!


1 large chicken
2 lb bacon in one piece
2 onions
2 carrots stalk celery
a few parsley stalks
a few sprigs of thyme
maybe a sprig of marjoram
5 peppercorns
2 Tbsp chopped parsley


Put the chicken and bacon into a saucepan with the onions, carrot, celery herbs, salt and a few peppercorns. Add about 2 inch of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook in a moderate oven 350F (175C) for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, depending on the size and age of chicken. Discard the vegetables.

When the chicken and bacon are cooked, skin and chop the meat into 3/4 inch dice while it is still hot. Add the parsley, taste and correct the seasoning, then press into a bowl. Pour a little of the cooking liquid over the top, cover with a plate and weight it down. Leave the mixture overnight in the fridge. Cut into slices and serve with a salad.

A more elaborate version can be made by layering the chicken, bacon and chopped parsley.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

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