Spring chicken pot au feu

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

  • 4 chicken breasts, skin on (180gm each)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 celery stalk, leaves attached
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 3 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 8 baby leeks, trimmed
  • 4 baby golden beetroot, trimmed, scrubbed
  • 4 baby turnips, trimmed, scrubbed
  • 4 each purple and orange Dutch carrots, scrubbed
  • 4 chat potatoes, halved
  • 4 golden shallots
  • 100 gm speck, rind removed, cut into lardons
  • 200 gm dry white wine
  • 1 litre (4 cups) good-quality chicken stock
  •  
  • Herb butter
  • 100 gm softened butter
  • 1 tbsp each finely chopped mint and tarragon
  • 2 tsp thyme
01   For herb butter, combine ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
02   Preheat oven to 180C. Carefully loosen skin from chicken breasts by gently sliding your fingers between skin and flesh, then stuff herb butter under skin, pushing gently to spread evenly. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts skin-side down and cook, turning once, until golden (3-4 minutes). Set aside.
03   Tie celery and herbs with kitchen string to make a bouquet garni and set aside. Heat butter in a casserole over medium heat, add vegetables and shallots, stir occasionally until starting to colour (3-4 minutes), then add speck and cook until golden (3-5 minutes). Deglaze with wine, add stock, bouquet garni, and chicken skin-side up, season to taste, then braise in oven until cooked through (15-20 minutes). Season to taste and serve hot.
This recipe is from the August 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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