Perfect for a chilly March evening, poached chicken in broth is one of my most adored comfort foods. It is so delicious, healthy and healing. Don’t get me wrong, roasting a chicken is great, but poaching takes chicken to a whole different place. Like a steamy shower, poaching a chicken just makes you feel warm inside. The meat just falls off of the bone and not a bit is wasted. The broth is wonderfully simple and delicious and with a dollop of rice, makes for a warming to the bone meal. This recipe is how I poach a chicken, but it is only meant as a reference, add your favorite vegetables, herbs, and spices. My broth is simple and clear, but feel free to fill it to the brim with bigger vegetable pieces, potatoes, and more. In loving the southwest, my recipe usually goes in that direction but an asian inspiration I have done before with fabulous results. Enjoy a perfect meal!
1 4-6 pound whole chicken
Salt and freshly ground pepper
5 garlic cloves, peeled
6 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 lime zest pieces (I used a vegetable peeler to zest the lime)
1 cinnamon stick
1/3 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup leeks, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 – 3 carrots, diced
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Cilantro, chopped, to serve
Avocado, diced, to serve
Cooked rice, to serve
Rinse and pat dry chicken, liberally salt & pepper. Allow chicken to come to room temperature.
Place chicken, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, zest, cinnamon stick and chicken neck in a pot and fill with water until the chicken is almost covered. Cover pot and bring to a boil, turn burner to low and gently simmer for 1 hour.
Add the tomato puree, leeks, carrots, and fingerlings (if using) then simmer for another 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken and add the lime juice. Remove and discard bay leaves. Keep broth on low until ready to serve.
Tear chicken into small pieces.
Place a portion of chicken in a bowl. Ladle broth over chicken and sprinkle with cilantro. Add a spoonful of rice and some diced avocado. Serve with fried tortilla chips or a loaf of crusty bread. Enjoy!