Poached chicken may sound a little but boring but I can assure you that the sauce going with this is anything but boring – it’s delicate, full of flavour and easy. You have the added advantage of making stock at the same time that can be frozen and used later.
- 1 Chicken
- 2 Carrots
- 1 large onion
- Small bunch parsley
- Springs fresh thyme
- A bay leaf
- A leek
- Chicken stock (optional)
- 20g butter
- Tbsp flour
- 6 tbsp fresh cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Place the chicken in a pot just large enough to hold it. Add the carrots cut in half, the onion studded with cloves, parsley, sprigs of fresh thyme, bay leaf and leek cut into 3-4 pieces.
Cover with cold water or chicken stock and add a pinch of seasalt.
Poach the chicken, covered, over a very low heat for 1- 11/2 hours, skimming if necessary. The cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken.
About 15 minutes before the chicken is cooked start the sauce.
Melt 20g butter in a pot and stir in a good tbsp of flour. Cook for a minute. Take off the heat and gradually add about 300ml of the poaching liquid. Stir constantly to avoid lumps. Return the pot to the stove and bring the sauce to the boil and stir till it thickens.
Gently cook for a few minutes longer. Then add the fresh cream. Season to taste with fine salt and white pepper.
In a medium sized bowl mix the egg yolks with lemon juice and a little freshly grated nutmeg. Very slowly pour the hot sauce into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Pour everything back into the pot and heat the sauce but don’t let it boil. Finish by adding a knob of butter.
Serve the chicken on plain boiled rice, a little sauce and finely chopped parsley. Serve the rest of the sauce separately.
Strain the cooking liquid that’s left from poaching the chicken and use later for soup or whatever.