By Camille Gibson
Poaching a chicken is incredibly cost effective and simple, and it produces tender, succulent meat that can be used in salads, sandwiches/wraps or sauces. You can freeze any leftovers, and use the stock as a base for your favourite soup or risotto.
I keep the shredded chicken in the fridge and use it to make wraps for lunch, like the Mexican style Chicken and Salsa Wrap.
Or serve the shredded chicken straight from the pot on a bed of steamed rice. Add some cooked green beans or mange tout and cover the lot with a ladle full of the strained chicken broth- delicious!
I have attached a list of standard ingredients, but the truth is that you can add all manner of vegetables and herbs to the pot. It’s a great way to use up left over produce from your fridge. Consider adding ginger root and garlic (and then make a delicious stir fry with the shredded chicken). Lemons or oranges add an interesting flavour, as do spices such as cloves and cinnamon. It all depends what kind of subtle tastes you would like to add to the chicken meat.
To poach 1 chicken
1 medium sized chicken
1 sprig of parsley
1 small bunch of thyme or oregano
1 bay leaf
10-15 whole peppercorns
1 carrot, chopped into quarters
1 stalk of celery, chopped into quarters
1 glass of white wine (optional)
Rinse the chicken and remove any giblets if necessary.
Put the chicken in a cooking large pot, and add the vegetables and herbs.
Add enough water to cover the chicken (you can add a glass of white wine as well if you choose).
Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 1 hour 20 minutes.
Once the chicken is cooked, take the pan off the heat and leave the chicken to cool a little in the broth. Then remove it from the pan and separate the meat from the bones and skin.
Strain the stock to use in soups.
Slow Cooker Option: You can also poach your chicken in a slow cooker by adding the chicken, vegetables and herbs, covering with water and cooking on low until the meat is tender and pulling away from the bone.