Roberta says: “This dish was inspired by a classic way of poaching whole fish, basically you pop it in the pot, bring it to the boil, take it off the heat, cover it and walk a way until it cools down … by which time it’s perfectly cooked. It gives a more succulent result than any other method I know. As poached chicken can be a little dull on its own, I added a spicy coleslaw to liven things up. A loaf of crusty bread wouldn’t go astray either. And the leftover stock is the perfect base for a delicious soup.”
Steeped Chicken with Spicy Slaw
1 x 1.8kg chicken
1 brown onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
Stems from 1 bunch parsley (leaves reserved for Slaw)
1 fresh bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon salt flakes
¼ Savoy cabbage, dark green outer leaves and thick central stem discarded
8 green onions, finely sliced
1 bunch parsley, leaves finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped dill
¾ cup whole egg mayonnaise
2½ tablespoons harissa
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt flakes, to taste
Cut chicken in half, remove excess fat from neck and rinse cavity to remove any excess blood and remaining offal.
Place in a large saucepan with onion, carrot, celery, parsley stalks, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt. Add enough cold water to cover, cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Skim to remove any froth that has floated to the top, cover, remove from heat and set aside for 1½ hours or until cool.
Meanwhile, make Spicy Slaw: finely shred the cabbage and place in a large bowl with the green onion, parsley and dill. Shake mayonnaise, harissa, lemon juice and salt together in a screw top jar. Pour mayonnaise mixture over the salad and toss well to combine.
Remove chicken from stock and set aside. Strain stock, discarding solids, cool and freeze to use as chicken stock for another dish.
Cut chicken into pieces, spread Spicy Slaw on a platter, arrange chicken on top and serve warm or at room temperature.
Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE
I was fortunate to meet Roberta Muir when she visited Cape Town some years ago and we have kept in touch. Roberta Muir has managed Sydney Seafood School, Australia’s largest recreational cooking school, since 1997. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Gastronomy from the University of Adelaide and is a qualified cheese judge. She is the author of the Sydney Seafood School Cookbook (Penguin/Lantern, 2012) and 500 Cheeses (Quintet, 2010) and co-author of A Lombardian Cookbook with chef Alessandro Pavoni (Penguin/Lantern, 2015) and A Sardinian Cookbook with chef Giovanni Pilu (Penguin/Lantern, 2012). She also assisted chef Janni Kyritsis with his cookbook Wild Weed Pie (Penguin/Lantern, 2006). Her passion for food, wine and foreign cultures has led her on adventures in Europe, Africa, Turkey, North America and South East and Central Asia. In her spare time, she reviews restaurants, writes freelance food, wine and travel articles, is a keen cook and an enthusiastic diner. She lives in Sydney with her husband, photographer and fellow foodie, Franz Scheurer.
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