Poule au Pot is a really rich and decadent dish, but it's really simple to make and needs only really simple ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 fine, fresh free-range chicken
  • turnips, onions and celery
  • 1 leek
  • thyme, bay and parsley for a bouquet garni
  • salt and pepper
  • 250 ml cream
  • 50 g butter
  • plain white flour

Method

  • Poule au Pot is a really rich and decadent dish, but it's really simple to make and needs only really simple ingredients.
  • This classic dish is just root vegetables, onions and a bouquet garni and they all go into the pot with the chicken and cold water.
  • Simmered for a few hours, the chicken is beautifully poached and has a lovely flavour.
  • The poaching liquid is reduced and then turned into a sauce simply with cream or possibly a béchamel sauce which gets poured back over the meat.
  • So first of all the water goes in the pot and the chicken is placed in there while you slice the vegetables, turnips, onions, celery and a leek.
  • Make a little bouquet garni of thyme, bay leaf and flat leaf parsley and pop that in there.
  • Pack the vegetables in around the chicken and add a little salt and pepper, but not too much. You season it at the end when you are making the sauce.
  • Put the lid on and let it simmer for about two hours.
  • After that lift out the chicken, which is meltingly poached, and take out the vegetables as well.
  • Now you can reduce the liquid in the same pot.
  • Strain this now, because there are lots of bits of leek that are still floating in it.
  • The stock goes back on the heat and it's going to bubble away and reduce by about half before we put the cream in and finish off the dish.
  • While the fresh chicken stock is reducing, make a simple roux to finish the thickening process.
  • Start by melting some butter in a small, heavy cast iron pan, into which you sprinkle some plain white flour, and stir it around until the flour has been completely absorbed by the butter.
  • It's important that the flour is completely cooked before adding the stock.
  • Gently and slowly pour the stock onto the roux and then do the same with the cream.
  • Give it a good stir and there you have it: a lovely silky sauce to pour over the chicken.

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