Poule au pot (Pot-roast chicken)
A simple French classic that’s naturally full of nutrients from the chicken and vegetables. Any leftovers are delicious in weeknight suppers. Feel free to swap in any other winter veg, cut to a similar size (though only add leafy greens for the final 15-20 minutes of simmering).
- CourseMain meal
- Prepare15 mins
- Cook1 hr 15 mins
- Total time1 hr 30 mins
- 1 large chicken (about 1.7kg)
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 2 small onions, halved (unpeeled)
- 500g carrots, scrubbed and cut into large pieces
- 500g parsnips, peeled and cut into lareg pieces
- 2 celery stalks, cut into large pieces
- 300g potatoes (4-6) cut into large pieces
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1/4 x 20g pack thyme sprigs
- 1/2 x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, leaves and stalks separated
- Dijon mustard, to serve (optional)
Season the chicken, leaving the string intact (if present). Heat a very large, heavy-based stock pot or casserole dish (big enough to hold the chicken) over a medium-high heat. Add the oil and put the chicken in breast-side down. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crisp, repeating on the legs and underside until browned all over. Pour in 500ml water and put the vegetables and potatoes on top. If needed, add more water to cover the chicken and vegetables.
Add the peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and parsley stalks (tie the herbs with kitchen string if you have any). Partially cover with a lid and slowly bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and bubble gently for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the vegetables are tender, the chicken is cooked through with no pink meat remaining and the juices run clear; you can check at the thickest part with a meat thermometer (it should read 75°C). Skim off any excess scum from the surface as it cooks.
Once cooked, scoop up the herbs and as many black peppercorns as you can from the surface and discard. Taste and season the broth. Roughly chop the reserved parsley leaves and scatter on top. Carefully transfer the chicken to a board to carve it and serve with the vegetables and broth. Serve with dollops of Dijon mustard, if liked.
Why it's good for you
This all-in-one dish is well-balanced, providing a lean source of protein, starchy carbohydrates and two portions of veg. Carrots provide beta carotene which, along with the folate from the parsnips, helps to support a healthy immune system, so it's a great winter dish. Pot-roasting the chicken and vegetables in the stock retains the water-soluble B vitamins which might otherwise leach out during cooking.
Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe