Riverford Wicked Leeks
Vaguely Middle Eastern poached chicken recipe image

Print Vaguely Middle Eastern poached chicken

A warming bowl of tender poached chicken tossed with grains and greens. Prunes combine with dried limes to give a lovely balance of sweet and sour to the meat. You don't need to stick to kale here – chard, spinach and spring or winter greens would all hit the spot. Served garnished with something sharp – chopped spring onions, coriander, parsley or thinly sliced red onion.


Chicken recipes  


  • ½ a chicken, breast, leg & wing separated, or two legs
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 2 dried limes (broken)
  • 4 dried mushrooms
  • 8 allspice berries
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 10 prunes
  • 1.5 litres chicken or veg stock
  • Zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • 350g curly kale
  • 150g pearled spelt or barley or quinoa or bulghur wheat
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Put the chicken, cardamom pods, limes, mushrooms, allspice, garlic, onion, prunes and stock in a large saucepan, bring to the simmer and cook for 40 minutes.
  2. Periodically, push down the prunes and limes with a potato masher to release the flavours and juice.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to the boil, chop up the kale and blanch for 3 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and cool under the cold tap.
  4. Leave in the colander. Using the same water, cook the grains until al dente. Strain.
  5. Remove the chicken to one side and strain the broth through a sieve. Discard the solids.
  6. Return the liquid to the pan, bring back to the simmer and add the grains and kale.
  7. Pull/chop the chicken into biggish pieces, discarding the skin. Return to the broth in the pan, adding the lemon juice and zest, and some salt and pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  8. Serve in bowls with whatever garnishes come to hand - chopped spring onions, coriander leaf, crispy fried shallots etc.
want to cook with fresh ingredients? try one of our award winning veg boxes