A good-quality chook is essential in this recipe.
- 50 ml olive oil
- 2 small leeks, thinly sliced
- 1½ bulbs of baby fennel, thinly sliced using a mandolin (fronds reserved)
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 fresh organic chicken (1.8kg)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 pieces of lemon rind, removed with a peeler
- 200 gm day-old crustless sourdough bread, coarsely torn
- 150 gm frozen peas
- 30 gm day-old crustless sourdough bread, coarsely torn
- 50 ml lemon juice
- 25 ml tarragon or white wine vinegar
- 2 hard-boiled egg yolks
- ¾ cup each of (loosely packed) tarragon and flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 150 ml olive oil
- 1Heat oil in a large casserole over medium heat. Add leek, fennel and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (10 minutes). Add chicken, bay leaves, lemon rind and 2½ litres cold water. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, weight down chicken with a plate and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook gently until meat is falling from the bone (about 1 hour).
- 2Remove chicken from casserole (let broth continue to simmer). When chicken is cool, coarsely shred meat (discard skin and bones) and return to soup, add bread, season, and continue simmering until soup thickens (about 5 minutes). Add peas, cook for another 1-2 minutes then stir in fennel fronds.
- 3Meanwhile for tarragon sauce, soak bread in lemon juice and vinegar until soft (about 10 minutes). Transfer to food processor, then add egg yolks, herbs and garlic and process until smooth. Add olive oil in a steady stream and process to combine. Season to taste, then serve drizzled over bowls of hot broth.
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