This is my version of the French classic, poule au pot. I wanted to showcase the fabulous summer vegetables from our garden, although that was partially scuppered by the discovery that something had wormed its way through all of my beautiful baby turnips.
Onward and upward though – I still had the new potatoes, baby carrots, broad beans, peas and shallots, plus whatever I could salvage from the wreckage of the ‘nips.
This is a great one-pot recipe. Once you’ve browned the chicken, it bubbles away happily by itself until the last half hour, when you need to start adding the baby vegetables. Unlike a hearty winter stew, it’s light and summery, but still packed full of flavour.
The bonus is that unless you have a very large and ravenous family, you should end up with extra poached chicken and chicken broth for another meal. Result.
Summer Chicken - a One-Pot Meal
3-4 new potatoes per person
2-3 baby turnips per person
3-4 baby carrots per person
3-4 shallots per person
Large handful of broad beans per person
Large handful of peas per person
Bunch of parsley, chopped
For the broth:
Enough chicken stock and/or water to come three-quarters of the way up the chicken
1 large glass of white wine
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
8-10 whole black peppercorns
In the biggest pot you have, heat the oil and brown the chicken all over. Discard the oil/fat.
Add chopped onion, carrots, bay leaves and peppercorns, but don’t add salt at this stage unless you’re making the dish with water rather than chicken stock, in which case add a good pinch.
Pour in chicken stock or water to come 3/4 of the way up the chicken, add the wine, clamp on a lid, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for about an hour.
Remove the chicken, strain the stock and discard the stock veg, put the chicken and its broth back in the pot and add the root veg.
Put the lid back on, return to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until the root vegetables are just tender but still firm.
Add the beans and peas and cook for another five minutes or until tender.
Remove the chicken, carve it into thick slices or joints, put it on a deep platter surrounded by the veg and keep warm.
Decant some of the stock and save it for another dish (it’s great for soups, sauces, risotto and other rice dishes), keeping around 1/2-1 litre, depending on how many you’re feeding.
Reduce this by around half, until it’s intense and deeply savoury in flavour, then skim off any fat.
Check the seasoning, add the parsley, pour some of the reduced broth over the chicken and veg and serve the rest in a sauce boat.