Braised Chicken with Cucumber Salad

“Kroer” are traditional country inns, or small hotels, dotted around the countryside in Denmark. In 1283, King Erik Klipping decreed that small hotels or inns, where to be established to accommodate him and his entourage, when he traveled around the country to collect taxes. At the time of the decree, there was to be an inn every 40 kilometers on major highways. Many of the places that are still here date back several centuries.

The inns were initially reserved for travelers only, but since local residents have been allowed to use them too, they have acted as hotels, restaurants and culture centers and hosted everything from weddings and funeral receptions, to christenings and confirmations.

They are often found  in authentic picture-postcard settings, in villages, surrounded by churches an windmills, and close to hills, rivers, the sea, forestry and wetland. Many are decorated with grandfather clocks, copper engravings, traditional Danish blue enamelware on the shelves, and decorative knickknacks wherever you look.

Naturally, good food is a large part of the inn experience. Many serve traditional, regional dishes, while others are closer to superb haute cuisine, Michelin-starred gourmet dinning.

Here is an example of Danish farmhouse cuisine. One could starts with Tartlets with Creamed Fish and Asparagus (which can be found under appetizers)  , Braised Chicken with Cucumber Salad. And For dessert, Lemon mousse which I made last time.

Braised Chicken with Cucumber Salad   Serves 4

3 lb. chicken

a large bunch of parsley

salt and freshly ground pepper

2-3 oz. butter

4 oz. heavy cream

Cucumber Salad;

1 large cucumber

8 oz. vinegar

2-3 tbsp. sugar

salt and freshly ground pepper

To make the chicken, rinse the parsley and remove the thickest stems. Rub the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Fill with parsley and a large pat of butter. Close with skewers. Heat the rest of the butter in a large heavy bottomed pot until golden brown. Brown the chicken evenly on all sides. Lower the heat and add half of the cream. Cover and braise the chicken for 45-60 minutes. Turn the chicken several times while cooking. Remove the chicken when a leg moves easily when it is wiggled. Add the rest of the cream and boil a few minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

To serve, arrange  the chicken on a warm platter and carve the chicken at the table or carve the chicken before placing on a warm platter.. Spoon some of the sauce over and serve the rest of the sauce separately.

Cucumber Salad.

To make the cucumber salad, wash and dry a large cucumber thoroughly. If it is a spring cucumber the green rind may be left on, but late in the season, when the rind is thicker and harder, it is best to peel the cucumber. Cut the cucumber into very thin slices with a sharp knife. Mix the water and vinegar, and sweeten to taste. Add the  cucumber slices and sprinkle with pepper. Let stand for and hour or so before serving.

Suggested accompaniment: Boiled new potatoes

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