Pic of Poached chicken

Poached chicken

Show ingredients


Poached chicken

Main Serves 4 2h
All poached meat has got itself a bad reputation in this country, maybe because we used to boil the hell out of it, leaving it grey and unappetising, but in fact cooking meat at a bare simmer produces not only tender, moist meat but also a crystal clear stock that can be served as a starter or used in soups. Serve this chicken dish with pungent salsa verde and steamed rice.' (Ben Watson)

Cook's notes

And if you really can't do without the crispy golden skin of a roast bird, combine the best of both worlds: try gentle poaching for an hour followed by a fifteen minute blast in a hot oven to crisp up the skin.


  • 1.8kg whole chicken
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1-2 leeks, trimmed
  • bouquet garni
  • few peppercorns
  • salt - but no more than 1 tsp


Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 1h 30 min
  • Step 1

    Place the chicken in a large saucepan or casserole along with the veg and add sufficient water to cover. Add no more than a pinch of salt and a few whole peppercorns and bring to the boil.
  • Step 2

    Skim any impurities that rise to the surface and make sure that the chicken remains covered with water then reduce the heat to achieve a bare simmer. Simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes, making sure that the bird is always covered.
  • Step 3

    Remove stock veg 20 minutes before end of cooking and replace with serving veg of your choice. To check if the chicken is cooked through push a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh - there should be no pink juice.
  • Step 4

    Remove the chicken and vegetables from the broth to a warm dish. Discard chicken skin and carve. Divide chicken and vegetables between 4 warmed plates, and spoon over some broth. Good served with salsa verde and crusty bread.

You may also like…