lemon chicken gratin with cucumber minted peas

Lindsey Bareham

Summery yet comforting, a lovely mix of textures and flavours. Usefully, the gratin can be prepared in advance, kept in the fridge until you are ready for it. Allow another ten minutes if cooking from the fridge.

serves 2, prep 25 min, cook 35 min

1 very large onion
25g butter
½ tbsp olive oil
1 lemon
A sprig rosemary
1 dsp flour
1 dsp Dijon mustard
150ml milk
150ml chicken stock
50g grated Parmesan
300g cooked chicken
3 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
200g fresh podded peas or frozen petits pois
½ cucumber
8 mint leaves

Peel and finely dice the onion. Melt the butter and olive oil in a spacious, lidded frying pan and stir in the onion with the rosemary and a generous pinch salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and patched with gold; about 15 min. Zest the lemon over the top. Sift over the flour, stirring until smooth, then stir in the mustard followed by the milk and stock. Simmer, stirring, for a few minutes then stir in half the Parmesan. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, tear the chicken into bite size pieces. Fold the chicken pieces into the sauce and discard the rosemary. Spoon into a suitable gratin dish. Mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining cheese, scatter it over the top and bake at 200C/gas 6 for 20 min or until crusty and bubbling round the edges.

To prepare the cucumber, peel with a potato peeler, halve lengthways, scrape away the seeds with a teaspoon and slice in 3mm thick slices. Boil the peas in salted water, add the cucumber for the last minute of cooking. Drain and mix with chopped mint.