This simple one-pot chicken uses the whole bird and poaching keeps it succulent. Blast the skin with a blowtorch to make it golden and deliciously crisp.
One-pot Poached Spring Chicken
- 1 large chicken about 2 kg
- 15 potatoes scrubbed and halved
- 100 g smoked bacon or pancetta lardons
- 1 thyme sprig
- 6 white peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 250 g carrots tops cut off, halved lengthways
- 200 g bunch small turnips peeled and halved
- 150 g podded peas
- 150 g broad beans podded and peeled
- 8 spring onions topped and tailed, then cut into 2cm lengths
- 8 asparagus spears trimmed
- small handful parsley leaves chopped
- 1 small tarragon sprig leaves picked
- 1 lemon cut in to wedges, to serve
- 100 g butter
- Melt the butter in a small pan, discard the milky liquid, then pour the golden fat into a bowl and set aside – this is clarified butter. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Sit the chicken in a large flameproof casserole dish, breast-side up, and arrange the potatoes and bacon around it. Pour over 1 litre of water. Add the thyme, pepper and bay, drizzle over the clarified butter and season everything with sea salt. Transfer the dish to the hob and heat until the liquid is starting to simmer. Cover the dish, cook in the oven for 1 hr 15 mins, then add the carrots and turnips. Pop the lid back on and put it back in the oven for another 35 mins.
- Scatter the peas, broad beans, onions and asparagus around the chicken, submerging them in the liquid, then cover and return to the oven for a further 10-15 mins or until the vegetables are just cooked.
- Remove from the oven, leave to stand for 5 mins, then carefully lift the chicken from the broth onto a board. If you want to crisp up the skin, blast it with a blowtorch. Stir the parsley and tarragon through the broth. Serve in the middle of the table with the vegetables and broth, and offer lemon wedges for squeezing over.