|Oh. My. God.|
One thing I noticed about the chickens in the supermarket here, is that the styrofoam tray is totally dry. There's no bloody water trapped in with the chicken. Based on absolutely no research into the matter, I've decided to settle on the explanation for this that I like best--that Italian chickens are not soaked in a vile vat of fetid water, the way American chickens are. (For me, this was the single most disturbing detail of Jonathan Safran Foer's interesting book Eating Animals. I can't buy poultry at home now without checking the package to see what percentage of the weight is from "water" absorption. I just threw up in my mouth.)
Sorry. All that has nothing to do with Nigella's recipe. Really, all you do is break the breastbone of the chicken, brown it, then boil it with some white wine, leeks, carrots, celery, and herbs. For a long time. It boils for 1.5 hours, then sits in the pot, off the heat, for another half hour. That's a long time for a carrot to boil.
The chicken was fine. The meat was tender and the broth tasted good on rice. The vegetables were mush. We ate them, but I'd prefer roasting a chicken and veg any day, for both the flavor it produces, and the time it saves.
Conclusion: Just okay. I won't make this again.