A chicken (not enormous or equivalent in pieces, with skin and bones for full flavour – to feed 4)
A small sprig of thyme
Half a teacup of hot water
A handful of mushrooms
Salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper
Cut chicken in suitable pieces and fry till golden in a little oil. Set aside on a warm plate. Pour away any surplus oil in the pan. Place joints back with a good knob of butter, the very finely chopped up onions and the skinned and finely chopped tomatoes. When all this reaches simmering point, add hot water, holding a fitting lid closely over the pan to avoid evaporation. Add herbs and one clove of garlic (chopped) and simmer till tender, 30 to 40 minutes. (I now use oven) 16 (sic) minutes before ready throw in sliced mushrooms. If you can spare it a small glass of brandy 5 mins before serving, allowing it to evaporate. This makes all the difference but is heavenly without.
I did a couple of pork chops for Pa and Me in this way today and was told they were out of this world. Serve the dish with potato pure (sic) and tossed lettuce. This is how Madame Renoir did her chicken and at the age of seventy her son can still taste it in his mouth.
Sprinkle the dish with parsley before serving and Mrs Tunnard prefers boiled small potatoes with the dish.
(This recipe has been copied from Amma’s own typed page that she sent me many years ago after listening to a Woman’s Hour interview of Jean Renoir. I add that, when cooked, I very often have to take out the meat to the serving dish and reduce the juices to a thicker consistency.)