Poached chicken with lemon and sorrel sauce

Poached chicken with lemon and sorrel sauce

By
From
Citrus
Serves
4
Photographer
Mowie Kay

Creamy sauces such as this one are normally served with poached chicken breasts, but I’m afraid I am not a fan of these – it is just so much better to poach a whole chicken. It gives you cooking liquor, chicken for leftovers and a pick of white or brown meat, both of which will be happy with a dousing of this sauce. Sorrel is included here for its very citrusy notes, but I can’t resist adding a squeeze of lemon juice too.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 chicken
a few pared pieces of lemon zest
a few peppercorns
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1/2 head garlic
sea salt
ground white pepper

For the sauce

Quantity Ingredient
15g butter
a small bunch sorrel, leaves only, shredded
300ml whipping cream
a squeeze lemon juice

Method

  1. First poach the chicken. If you don’t want a very fatty broth, remove some of the chicken skin – at least that which covers the breasts and thighs. Pull out some of the fat you will find around the cavity opening too. Put into a pot – it should be a snug fit – then add the aromatics and vegetables. Pour in enough water (or chicken stock) so that the thickest part of the legs are covered. Season with salt, then bring to the boil. Skim until any foam slowly turns from mushroom grey to white. Reduce the heat to the slowest possible simmer, then cover. Simmer for 45 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to stand for a further 15 minutes. Leave until you are ready to serve, reserving 50ml of the cooking liquor for the sauce.
  2. For the sauce, melt the butter and add the sorrel. When it has completely collapsed into a purée, remove from the heat. In a separate pan, heat the cream and reserved chicken cooking liquor until just at boiling point. Add the cooked sorrel, then season well with salt and white pepper. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with slices of the poached chicken.
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