The festive season is on the horizon, our calendars brimming with the prospect of Christmas indulgence: rich dinner party dishes, seriously naughty puds, celebratory cocktails … we thought we ought to create a fresh and nutritious recipe to shore up against the party season.
The process of gently poaching a chicken guarantees succulent, soft flesh which is perfect with winter’s kitchen garden staples: cavolo nero, squash, celery. The nourishing flavours of ginger, chilli, lemongrass and star anise, a spice with excellent immune boosting properties, creates an utterly delicious and warming dish. Let this be your go-to restorative throughout the winter months.
- 1 free range or organic chicken – 1.8kg approx. at room temperature
- 2 large red onions peeled and quartered
- 2 large carrots peeled and cut in half length ways
- 2 ribs of celery
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 long red chilli cut in half length ways
- 2 inch piece of ginger peeled and sliced
- 1 stick of lemongrass bruised
- 1 star anise
- 1/2 tsp white peppercorns
- 1 clementine
- 1/2 small crown prince pumpkin or equivalent
- Small bunch of cavolo nero
- 1 tsp of fish sauce, oyster sauce & light soy sauce
- 1 red chilli sliced at angles
- Coriander leaves
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Sesame oil
- Ground white pepper
- Place the onion, carrot, celery, garlic into a saucepan large enough to hold the chicken once covered with liquid.
- Half fill the pan with cold water, add the salt, cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour.
- Add the chicken, breast side down to the pan, top up with extra water to barely cover if needed.
- Add the white peppercorns, chilli, ginger, lemongrass, star anise, 2 strips of clementine peel, re-cover and bring to a good boil.
- Turn off and leave for 1 hour with the lid in place.
- Meanwhile peel, de-seed and cut the pumpkin into eights (depending on pumpkin size)
- Wash and strip the cavolo nero, set aside.
- After an hour, carefully remove the chicken, place into a bowl, cover with cling film and allow to rest and keep warm.
- Strain half the stock/cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a clean pan (reserve the remaining stock for a later date or freeze).
- Simmer to reduce by about a quarter to intensify the flavour, skimming to remove any fat.
- Add and simmer the pumpkin until just cooked. Whilst the pumpkin is cooking, skin and joint the chicken.
- Add the cavolo nero to the pan, continue to simmer until just barely cooked.
- Season the broth with the fish, soy and oyster sauce. Adjust the salt, add a good squeeze of the clementine juice.
- Once cooked, divide the pumpkin between 4 bowls, divide the chicken between the bowls followed by the cavolo nero.
- Ladle over the hot broth, a drizzle of sesame oil, sesame seeds, coriander leaves, chilli and grind of white pepper.