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Poule au Pot

Chicken in a Pot

Pouole au Pot, translates quite simply to “chicken in a pot.” To make this dish, a whole chicken is stuffed with a seasoned bread mixture and poached in a large cooking pot with seasoned broth and an assortment of vegetables. Here is David McAninch’s recipe for Poule au Pot, from his book Duck Season.

”Finding a tough old hen like the one Nadine Cauzette used when we made this dish isn’t easy in the States. This recipe, which includes the classic sauce gribiche accompaniment, has been adapted for a quicker-cooking roasting chicken.” — David McAninch


For the sauce gribiche

  • 1 hard-boiled egg, yolk and white separated, white part chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon minced capers
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh chervil
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the stuffing

  • 1/2 Cup bread crumbs, soaked in milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 parsley sprigs, leaves chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • One 6-ounce piece dry-cured ham such as prosciutto or jambon de Bayonne, chopped
  • Giblets (heart, liver, gizzard) from the chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the chicken

  • One 3 1/2-to-4-pound roasting chicken with its giblets and, if possible, its neck and feet
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 extra-large bouquet garni (6 sprigs parsley, 6 sprigs thyme, 1 celery stalk, 1 bay leaf)
  • 1 onion, pierced with 2 whole cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 6 medium carrots, halved
  • 2 large leeks, trimmed, halved crosswise, and tied with twine (so they don’t fall apart during cooking)
  • 2 large turnips, quartered
  • 10 small waxy potatoes, peeled


For the sauce gribiche

Mash the egg yolk in a bowl while slowly adding the vinegar, bit by bit, mixing constantly to create a smooth texture. Once the vinegar has been added, start adding the oil in a thin stream, stirring vigorously all the while, until the mixture becomes smooth and emulsified.

Stir in the capers, parsley, chervil, tarragon, and chopped egg white and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until an hour before serving time.

For the stuffing

Drain the excess milk from the bread crumbs, transfer the soaked bread crumbs to a bowl, and stir in the eggs.

Pulse the remaining stuffing ingredients in a food processor until they’re very finely chopped; add them to the egg mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Season the stuffing with salt and pepper and set it aside.

For the chicken

Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity with the reserved stuffing. Sew the cavity shut with kitchen twine and truss the bird.

Bring 5 to 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the stuffed chicken and its neck and feet (if using) and let the water return to a boil.

Skim any foam that rises to the surface, then reduce to a simmer over medium heat. Add the bouquet garni, studded onion, and the peppercorns and cook, covered, for 30 minutes, skimming as needed. Add the remaining ingredients and continue cooking, skimming occasionally, for another 40 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are very tender and the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165 degrees F. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Strain the broth and discard the bouquet garni, the onion, and the neck and feet.


To serve:

Cut up the bird and transfer it to a large platter with its stuffing and the cooked vegetables. Ladle a little of the broth over the chicken and vegetables. Serve the remaining strained broth as a first course, if you like, and serve the bird and the vegetables with the sauce gribiche and some coarse salt.


From the book: DUCK SEASON: Eating, Drinking and Other Misadventures in Gascony—France's Last Best Place by David McAninch. Copyright © 2017 by David McAninch. Reprinted courtesy of Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.