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Poached chicken with basil mayonnaise

You'll need

250 ml (1 cup) verjuice 3 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped 2 carrots, coarsely chopped 1 head of garlic, halved 6 sprigs of thyme 3 pieces of lemon rind, removed with a peeler 2 bay leaves Reserved from below: basil stalks 2 (1.4kg each) organic chickens To serve: picked watercress   Basil mayonnaise 2 cups (firmly packed) basil leaves, stalks reserved for poaching 3 egg yolks 1½ tbsp tarragon or white wine vinegar 200 ml olive oil 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • 01
  • Combine all ingredients except watercress in a stock pot or saucepan large enough to hold chickens, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over medium heat, remove from heat, cover and cool completely in liquid. Remove chicken from liquid (you can strain cooking liquid and reserve for stock) and, using a sharp knife, remove breasts and legs. Cut each breast into 3 pieces and cut each leg into 2 through the joint. Arrange on a serving platter, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and scatter with watercress.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for basil mayonnaise, blanch basil in boiling salted water for 30 seconds, drain, refresh in iced water, drain again and squeeze excess water from basil. Using a food processor, process basil and egg yolks until basil is finely chopped, add vinegar and process to combine. With motor running, add olive oil in a thin, steady stream and process until thick and emulsified. Add lemon juice, season to taste and process to combine. Serve with poached chicken. Makes about 1½ cups.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Cool-climate chardonnay.

Featured in

Nov 2007

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