Poached chicken with new potatoes and asparagus

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Meat mains

Poached chicken with new potatoes and asparagus

Main Serves 6 1h 45 min
Making hollandaise can sound a bit intimidating but few things could be easier and variations are endless. Most 'blender' recipes seem to leave out the initial vinegar reduction but with all that butter in this recipe and the poached chicken, a little sharp acidity is a must.



  • ½ or whole chicken
  • 1 onion
  • carrot
  • celery stick
  • bouquet garni
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 500g new potatoes – ideally jersey royals
  • 50g butter
  • 1 bunch asparagus

for the hollandaise

  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250g butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • squeeze lemon
  • pinch mustard powder
  • pinch cayenne
  • optional: tarragon, parsley, wild garlic


Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 1h 15 min


  • Step 1

    Place the chicken (skin-side-up if it is the half chicken), with the stock vegetables in a saucepan with a lid.
  • Step 2

    Cover with water and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes for the half chicken, 20 minutes for the whole chicken, and switch the heat off. Cool for 20 minutes with the lid on, remove the chicken with a fork or tongs, carefully cut off the breast(s) and put to one side as these cook faster than the legs, then return the leg(s) and carcass to the pan and cook for another 20 minutes.
  • Step 3


make your hollandaise

  • Step 1

    . Put the vinegar, peppercorns and bay leaf in a small saucepan and gently reduce until there is about a tablespoon of vinegar left. Sieve into the bowl of a food processor or a mixing bowl.
  • Step 2

    Add the three egg yolks and blend, either with the food processor or a whisk. Melt the butter in a pan until just foaming, and very slowly pour into the food processor while it is running. If you are using a bowl and whisk, the same rules apply.
  • Step 3

    When all the butter is incorporated (except the sediment), add the lemon juice, mustard, cayenne and optional extras. If the sauce doesn't have the correct consistency, pour it into a bowl and place in a veg steamer, over (not in) simmering water, stirring continually until it has cooked and thickened. Make sure it doesn't catch on the sides.
  • Step 4

    Boil the new potatoes until just cooked, add the knob of butter, gently toss and keep warm in the oven. Trim and steam the asparagus for a few minutes.
  • Step 5

    Remove the chicken leg from the stock, peel off the skin, pull the meat off the bone and chop. Return the bones and skin to the saucepan for stock. Peel the skin off the chicken breast, slice thinly and plate up with the vegetables, chicken leg and hollandaise sauce.

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