I must try this recipe sometime.
One of my favourite variations [of pot au feu] is the simple pot au poulet - chicken in a pot.
When I cooked this dish recently I added a pinch of dried mushrooms because I like the colour and subtle flavour. I used a corn-fed chicken from the Barossa, which cost $26. Not cheap, I know, but the flavour was superb and when it comes to simple poached chicken it's essential to use the best. I served the tender chicken in a deep dish surrounded by the vegetables, with some fried sourdough bread rubbed with garlic and a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley, and a bowl of creme fraiche boosted with a big spoonful of horseradish. It was fantastic.
The leftover broth became an onion soup later that week, replete with some of the flaked leftover meat, carrots, potatoes and grilled bread topped with gruyere cheese.
Considering I fed four people twice from this simple dish, the $26 was well spent.
A French friend from Lyon told me his grandmother used to make a simple country dish called poule au riz - a favourite meal, which he still requests on visits home. She cooks a poule au pot and then makes a rice pilaf using some chicken livers fried in a little garlic and parsley, and the broth from the pot. The pilaf is laid out alongside the chicken and vegetables.
Pot au poulet
1 corn-fed chicken
2 leeks, young pale part only, cut into large rounds
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
3 turnips, peeled and quartered (or whole baby turnips)
bouquet garni of 2 thyme sprigs, 10 parsley stalks, 1 fresh bay leaf
1 tbsp dried mushrooms soaked in 1/4 cup warm water
3 garlic cloves, cut in half
4-6 waxy potatoes such as nicola or kipfler
inside young leaves and stems of a celery
1 cup white wine
2 litres water or chicken stock
1 tsp peppercorns
Put everything into a pot, cover with cold water or stock and simmer gently for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Serve with creme fraiche mixed with horseradish and salt, and sourdough slices fried in butter and rubbed with garlic and sprinkled with chopped parsley.
Brigitte Hafner's pot au poulet recipe. Food preparation and styling by Caroline Velik, pot from Ex Libris.
Photo: Marina Oliphant
Emily came over after work. In fact, she was driving along the road I was walking along and she kidnapped me.
I cooked t-bone steak for dinner, served with mashed potato and broccoli.