Poached chicken

An absolute favourite this is a delightfully tasty and, in a way, medicinal respite from days of overeating. Clean and light it is also very easy to prepare and, once the majority is eaten, transform the remains into a broth – perhaps with the addition of barley.

Poached chicken

Poached chicken

Recipe by Valentine Warner

Serves 6


  • Whole Chicken, Free Range & Herb-fed

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 3 large carrots, peeled and halved 

  • 3 sticks celery, de-strung and halved

  • 3 medium turnips, halved

  • 3 small fennel bulbs, halved lengthways, any leaves removed and kept for sauce

  • 6 medium long shallots, left whole and skins on

  • 1 small bulb of garlic, halved horizontally

  • 1 large thumb ginger, thinly sliced lengthways

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 8 black peppercorns

  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 small sprig of fresh thyme

  • Small grating of nutmeg

  • 3 tsp flaked sea salt

  • 1 cucumber skinned and diced very small

  • 1 tbsp capers

  • 2 tbsp finely grated fresh horseradish

  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise

  • 2 level tsp Dijon or English mustard

  • 2 level tsp grain mustard

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dill or alternatively parsley


  • Take a large pot that owns a lid and place it over a medium heat.
  • Toast the coriander seeds until their smell comes to the nose and then turn off the heat.
  • Place the chicken in the bottom of the pan and cover with cold water.
  • Place all the vegetables snugly around the chicken and add the herbs and spices plus 3 tsp of flaked sea salt (seems a lot but the stock needs it).
  • Turn the heat back on, bring up to a simmer and then turn it down to little more than a wobble.  Add the lid remembering that the heat will increase so check and alter after a few minutes.
  • While the chicken cooks salt the cucumber with a single tsp of flaked sea salt and allow to drip drain in a sieve over a bowl.
  • Cook the chicken for an hour or so or until the internal temperature of the breast is 75°C.
  • After an hour, wring out the cucumber of as much extra juice as possible and put it in a nice bowl.
  • Stir the remaining ingredients into the cucumber and serve alongside the carved chicken dished up with a little juice and the vegetables.

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