There were revolutions in fashion, in music and cooking. People were getting 'fitted' kitchens and new appliances for the first time, and discovering new favourite foods.
Cookbooks by Elizabeth David and Marguerite Patten inspired many to try new recipes, particularly Mediterranean food, at a time when garlic and olive oil were still considered exotic ingredients.
Chicken had been an expensive luxury but thanks to new farming methods, it became widely available and cheaper, which allowed people to experiment more with different recipe ideas.
Models like Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy were style icons.
Music was changing too ... The Beatles and The Rolling Stones introduced us to new sounds and new hairstyles!
Although TV was still in black and white we saw Football fever hit 'fever-pitch' when England won the World Cup in 1966.
Ingredients (serves four)
1 large free range chicken, jointed
1 bottle of red wine
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 small leek
1 stick of celery
1 medium onion ( I like to use a red onion)
2 gloves garlic
12 small button mushrooms
100g of pancetta, cut into cubes of about 1cm
6 - 8 shallots (baby pearl onions)
1. Separate the thighs from the drumsticks and place in a suitably sized tub or zip-lock bag. Crush the garlic, then chop the carrot, celery, onion and leek into rough 1cm dice and add everything to the chicken along with the wine, thyme and bay leaf. Leave in the fridge to marinate for a day. Put the chicken breasts aside for another recipe. Make a simple stock with carcass - crush slightly and snugly fit it into a medium - small pot. Cover with cold water and bring it to the boil slowly, skimming off any 'scum' that may rise. Simmer gently for three hours, then strain and discard the bones. Reduce the stock by half and place in the fridge until needed.
2. Heat the oven to 180C. Transfer the chicken and it's marinade to a roasting tray, then bring it to the boil on the stove top (hob) and simmer for three minutes to remove the alcohol. Place in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the meat is tender.
3. Meanwhile heat a frying pan and cook the pancetta, shallots and mushrooms over a high flame / heat until nice and golden. Add the chicken stock to de-glaze, then simmer until the mushrooms and shallots are just tender. Set aside.
4. When the chicken is cooked, remove from the tray and pat the skin dry with kitchen towel. Strain the braising liquid into a saucepan, add the chicken stock poured off from the mushrooms and shallots pan. Bring to the boil and reduce by about two thirds, until it is dark and rich. Season to taste.
5. While the sauce is reducing crisp the chicken skin in a frying pan, heat some oil over a medium to low flame / heat and brown the chicken, being careful not to burn it. The skin should be dark and caramelised. Serve with the mushrooms, shallots, pancetta and sauce poured over.
This really is a great classic ......yes it takes time BUT it's so worth it.