Spring poached chicken

Poached Chicken

Serves 6

  • 2 kg higher-welfare chicken

  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 4 fresh bay leaves

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 handfuls new potatoes, scrubbed

  • 2 handfuls baby carrots

  • 2 handfuls baby turnips or radishes

  • 1 bulb fennel, quartered, herby tops removed and reserved

  • horseradish, freshly grated

  • 1 jar hot creamed horseradish, optional

  • 285 ml crème fraîche

  • 2 handfuls fresh peas

  • 2 handfuls broad beans

  • 1 colanderful spinach or Swiss chard

  • olive oil

  • 1 small handful inner celery leaves

You will need a large casserole or stock pot to fit your chicken in so that you can cover it with water by about 2.5cm. Stuff the chicken with the parsley and bay leaves, then add your chicken to the pot, cover with water and add a good teaspoon of salt. Scatter in the potatoes, bring to the boil, then turn down, place a lid on top and simmer for about 20 minutes. At this point you can add your baby carrots, turnips or radishes and fennel. Carry on simmering for 30 to 40 minutes.



When you can easily pull the leg bone away from the chicken, you know that it's cooked to perfection. By that time the other veg will certainly be cooked, but don't break them up. Now... while this is all cooking, you can prepare your horseradish cream – the most joyous thing to have with the chicken. In your supermarket you will be able to find creamed or hot grated horseradish in a jar, which is OK to use, but if you're really lucky you'll be able to get hold of some fresh horseradish which you can simply peel and grate, season with salt and mix with the crème fraîche. (I'm lucky because my local supermarket sells them whole – just ask at yours if there are none in stock.)



All you have to do now is carefully remove the chicken to a bowl and add the peas, broad beans and spinach to the broth. Allow them to cook for one minute, then season carefully to taste. You can get all your guests to help themselves if that's easier, but if you want to serve it up, divide a nice mixture of veg between 6 bowls, put some shredded chicken on top, then ladle over some of the wonderful, comforting broth. Sprinkle over some of the chopped reserved fennel tops or some celery leaves, with a healthy dollop of horseradish crème fraîche on top and a drizzle of nice peppery olive oil – it will look and taste brilliant.

Nutritional Information

Spring poached chicken

With loads of gorgeous seasonal veggies

More Sunday lunch recipes >
0 foodies cooked this
If you've never tried poached chicken, you're in for a real treat with this tasty, wholesome broth
Serves 6
1h 10m
Super easy
Method

To be honest, I think this has got to be one of my favourite meals, but at the same time none of my friends would even think about having poached chicken for dinner. But do you know what, this is one of the most truly brilliant meals. People I've fed it to have been gobsmacked and I'm sure you will be too. So please, trust me, I won't stitch you up. Have a go!

You will need a large casserole or stock pot to fit your chicken in so that you can cover it with water by about 2.5cm. Stuff the chicken with the parsley and bay leaves, then add your chicken to the pot, cover with water and add a good teaspoon of salt. Scatter in the potatoes, bring to the boil, then turn down, place a lid on top and simmer for about 20 minutes. At this point you can add your baby carrots, turnips or radishes and fennel. Carry on simmering for 30 to 40 minutes.

When you can easily pull the leg bone away from the chicken, you know that it's cooked to perfection. By that time the other veg will certainly be cooked, but don't break them up. Now... while this is all cooking, you can prepare your horseradish cream – the most joyous thing to have with the chicken. In your supermarket you will be able to find creamed or hot grated horseradish in a jar, which is OK to use, but if you're really lucky you'll be able to get hold of some fresh horseradish which you can simply peel and grate, season with salt and mix with the crème fraîche. (I'm lucky because my local supermarket sells them whole – just ask at yours if there are none in stock.)

All you have to do now is carefully remove the chicken to a bowl and add the peas, broad beans and spinach to the broth. Allow them to cook for one minute, then season carefully to taste. You can get all your guests to help themselves if that's easier, but if you want to serve it up, divide a nice mixture of veg between 6 bowls, put some shredded chicken on top, then ladle over some of the wonderful, comforting broth. Sprinkle over some of the chopped reserved fennel tops or some celery leaves, with a healthy dollop of horseradish crème fraîche on top and a drizzle of nice peppery olive oil – it will look and taste brilliant.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 557
    28%
  • Carbs 9.8g
    4%
  • Sugar 4.5g 5%
  • Fat 35.9g 51%
  • Saturates 9.2g 46%
  • Protein 46.5g 103%
Of an adult's reference intake

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BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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