Arguably the ultimate party food, this royal gem of a recipe can be prepared ahead and tastes miles better for that bit of effort
Serves 4 as a main course or 8-10 as part of a buffet
For the dressing
Put the chicken in a deep stockpot or saucepan and cover with cold water. Drop in the onion, celery, bay leaves, star anise and cardamom pods and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat very low and poach for 1 hour, or until the leg comes easily away from the bone and the chicken is cooked through (see cook's tip below on poaching). Turn off the heat and leave the chicken in the stock until cool enough to handle.
Lift the chicken out of the stock, reserve 400ml and discard the rest. Remove the skin then remove the meat from the chicken by tearing off large bite-sized pieces and transfer to a bowl to cool. If you're making the chicken ahead, pour over a little stock then cover and chill until you're ready for the next step.
For the dressing, put the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor and blitz until the mixture takes on a paste consistency. Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the paste for 6-8 minutes to cook through. Add the spices, salt, a good grinding of pepper and cook for a few minutes more until fragrant before stirring in the mango chutney. Pour in the stock and bubble rapidly until the mixture has reduced back down to a paste, then transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool.
Mix the mayonnaise and yoghurt into the cooled paste then stir in the raisins or sultanas and toss with the chicken. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Chill until needed then serve scattered with toasted almonds and garnished with crunchy lettuce leaves.
Cook's tip: Poaching is a very gentle technique that gives really succulent meat; the water should only break an occasional bubble. Be careful not to boil the chicken as it'll toughen like old boots.
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