Poule Au Pot

(French for poached chicken with winter-vegetable broth)

Henry IV hoped to create a wealthy nation that every family could afford a stew once a week. Thus, the Poule Au Pot became one of the traditional French Sunday dinners. This recipe is basically from a newspaper clipping from years ago and I have made this soup over and over again, it’s simple and absolutely delicious! Soon as someone has a cold in our house, you can smell this soup cooking. Tina

Note: You can use any vegetables you have, omit those that you don’t (ideally root vegetables are included), however the garlic cloves, onion of some sort if not leeks or shallots, and some herbs are key.

Ingredients:

1.7kg organic free-range chicken (or any size you have)

8 shallots, peeled

8 small carrots, peeled

2 leeks, trimmed and cut in half and tied with kitchen string if possible

2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into segments

4 sticks celery, washed and cut in half

3 litres of cold filtered water

8 garlic cloves, peeled

1 *bouquet garni (8 sprigs parsley, 4 sprigs of thyme, 3 bay leaves and 1 sprig of tarragon)

8 whole black peppercorns

4 tsp Celtic sea salt

Method:

  1. Place the chicken in a big pot large enough to hold it, the water and vegetables
  2. Cover the chicken with the water only first, and bring to the boil
  3. Skim the foam off the top
  4. Then add all the remaining ingredients listed
  5. Simmer gently for about an hour, but don’t boil or the meat will become tough
  6. Pierce the thigh with a knife to check the chicken is cooked, if the juices run clear it is ready
  7. Turn off the heat and allow to rest for 20 mins, this tenderises the meat and improves the flavours of the broth
  8. To serve, remove the chicken from the broth and carve or shred
  9. Sieve the broth from the vegetables and other ingredients using a colander into a large enough container
  10. Then serve the soup, add broth, and add selected vegetables to serve (discard unwanted ingredients).  Can also add some cooked bean thread vermicelli or rice vermicelli noodles (available from your local supermarket) if desired.
  11. Enjoy, delicious!

*A bouquet garni is French for “garnished bouquet” and is a bundle of herbs tied together with string and mainly used to prepare soup, stock, casseroles and various stews. The bouquet is cooked with the other ingredients and is removed prior to consumption.  If fresh herbs are not available, just use organic dried of what you have in your pantry, or you can buy an organic bouquet garni dried mix from your local health shop. 

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