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    Poached chicken with leeks, broad beans & herby sauce

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    Poached chicken with leeks, broad beans & herby sauce

    • Gluten Free

    Preparation time: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes

    Serves: 4


    1 whole free-range chicken, about 1.5kg
    20g pack thyme
    20g pack rosemary
    2 stalks lemongrass, bashed
    10 fresh bay leaves (1 pack)
    1 whole bulb garlic, halved
    1 onion, halved
    1 leek, trimmed and cut into chunks (about 100g)
    1 carrot, quartered 
    250ml white wine
    14 black peppercorns
    135g pack baby leeks
    300g frozen or fresh broad beans

    Herby sauce
    ½ x 20g pack dill
    ½ x 25g pack mint
    ½ x 20g pack tarragon
    ½ x 25g pack flat leaf parsley
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
    1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
    10g nonpareille capers
    10g cornichons, drained and chopped
    6 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    70ml extra virgin olive oil


    1. You will need a flameproof casserole dish or saucepan large enough to comfortably fit the chicken (about 5 litres). Put in the chicken and all the ingredients apart from the baby leeks and broad beans. Pour over enough water to cover. Bring up to a simmer but not a full boil. Cover and reduce the heat a little, then simmer for 1 hour with the lid on. 

    2. Meanwhile, make the herby sauce. Pick all the leaves off the herbs, adding the stems to the chicken as it cooks. Chop the leaves, not too finely – leave them with a little texture. Combine with the garlic, chilli, capers, cornichons and anchovies, if using. Stir in the mustard and vinegar, then slowly stir in the extra virgin olive oil; set aside.

    3. Check the chicken is cooked (the juices should run clear and no pink meat should remain) then transfer it to a board, reserving the stock. Use poultry shears or sharp kitchen scissors to snip up either side of the backbone. Discard the bone and cut the rest of the bird into four pieces – cut off the legs above the thigh, then divide the body in two between the breasts. Cover loosely with foil and leave to rest. 

    4. Strain the stock into a clean pan and return to a gentle heat. Add the baby leeks and poach for 15 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, if using frozen broad beans or older fresh beans, put them in a bowl and cover with just-boiled water; leave to stand for 5 minutes, then drain and peel off the skins (young broad beans can be cooked and eaten in their skins). A couple of minutes before serving, add the broad beans to the stock with the leeks to heat through. 

    5. To serve, transfer the chicken pieces to a warmed platter. Using a small sieve, scoop out the leeks and broad beans; scatter over the chicken. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve with a bowl of the herb sauce, a crisp green salad and bread to soak up the juices.

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    Cook's tip: the delicious stock left from poaching the chicken can be used in other dishes. Chill it and then freeze for up to 3 months.


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    5 stars