Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1 large chicken, preferably organic (now at top of ingredients list)

  2. 2 teaspoons garlic oil

  3. 100ml white wine or dry white vermouth

  4. 2-3 leeks, trimmed, clean and cut into approx

  5. 7cm logs

  6. 2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into batons

  7. 1-2 sticks of celery, sliced

  8. approx 2 litres cold water

  9. 1 bouquet garni or teaspoon dried herbs

  10. fresh parsley stalks or few sprigs, tied or banded together

  11. 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes or one teaspoon pouring salt

  12. 2 teaspoons red peppercorns, or good grinding pepper

  13. chopped leaves, from parsley stalks above

  14. chopped fresh dill

  15. English mustard

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Get out a large, flame safe cooking pot (with a lid) in which the chicken can fit snugly: mine is about 28cm wide x 10cm deep.

  2. On a washable board, un-truss the chicken, put it breast side down and press down on the chicken until you hear the bone crack. (As you may imagine I like this.) Then press again, so that the chicken is flattened slightly. Now cut off the ankle joint below the drumstick (but keep them). I find kitchen scissors up to the task.

  3. Put the garlic oil in the pan to heat then brown the chicken for a few minutes breast side down, and then turn up the heat turn over the chicken tossing in the feet as you do so. Still with the heat vigorous, add the wine or vermouth to the pan and let bubble down a little before adding the leeks, carrots and celery.

  4. Pour in enough cold water to cover the chicken, though the very top of it may be poking out, then pop in the bouquet garni or your herbs of choice, then the parsley stalks (if I have a bunch, I cut the stalks off to use here but leave them tied in the rubber band) or parsley sprigs along with the salt and red peppercorns or just a good grinding of regular pepper.

  5. The chicken should be almost completely submerged by now, and if not, do add some more cold water. You want it just about covered.

  6. Bring to a bubble, clamp on a lid, turn the heat to very low and leave to cook for an hour and a half to two hours. I tend to give it one and a half hours, or one hour 40 minutes, then leave it to stand with the heat off, but the lid still on for the remaining 30 or 20 minutes.

  7. Serve the chicken and accompanying vegetables with brown basmati, adding a ladleful or two of liquid over each shallow bowl as you go and putting fresh dill and mustard on the table for those eating to add as they wish.


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