Poached Chicken In An Asian-Style Broth

Poached Chicken In An Asian-Style Broth With Stir-Fried Vegetables

Is it quick to make? No! But it’s easy to make.

How about taste? DIVINE!

If ever there was a meal worth spending time on, this is it. This fragrant poached chicken dish is super-tasty. It’s also really light, despite the coconut milk that I add to the broth.

Coconut milk is, along with other coconut products, really nutritious. It does contain saturated fat but coconut is rich in medium-chain fatty acids which the body processes differently than other saturated fats. These medium-chain fatty acids promote weight maintenance without raising cholesterol levels.

Time-wise...Well, you have to poach a whole chicken for about 1 hour and 20 minutes (you need a big pot for this). But it's not difficult to make this dish. There is plenty of time to prepare the vegetables for the stir-fry while the chicken is simmering – and probably enough time to read half the weekend newspaper as well.

Any left-over poached chicken could be used for a salad the next day, or be added to a soup.

For 4 people:

1 whole good quality organic or at least free-range chicken

1 onion, peeled and halved

thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

3 lemon grass, bashed

A bunch fresh coriander (cilantro), stalks and leaves separated (save the leaves for garnish)

3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

2 whole cloves

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns

For the broth:

800ml, 1½ pint, 3½ cups, chicken stock from the water you’ve been poaching the chicken in

400ml, 3½floz, 1¾ cups, coconut milk

Salt and pepper

For the stir-fried vegetables:

2 tablespoons coconut oil - or use vegetable oil

Thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped

1 fat garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

1 small head of broccoli, cut into small florets, stem sliced

1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick batons

1 red pepper (bell pepper), de-seeded and roughly chopped

2 spring onions (scallions), sliced

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

To serve:

Juice of 2 limes

Coriander (cilantro) leaves

1.    Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Add the onion, ginger, lemongrass, coriander (cilantro) stalks, garlic, cloves, salt and peppercorns to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 1 hour 20 minutes. Skim off any scum, white froth, that forms.

2.    Take the poached chicken out of the pot, discard the skin and use a fork to shred as much meat as possible off the bones. Strain the stock into a large bowl and throw away the solids.

3.    Add 800ml/3½ cup of the stock and the coconut milk to a pot (you can freeze the rest of the stock). Bring to a simmer, taste and add a bit of salt and pepper if needed.

4.   For the stir-fried vegetables, add the oil to a wok or large frying pan over quite a high heat. Once the wok or pan is hot, add the garlic, chilli and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the broccoli, carrots and red pepper (bell pepper) and keep everything moving, stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Add the spring onion (scallion) and the soy sauce and stir-fry for a further 30 seconds. Remove the wok or frying pan from the heat.

5.    Add the juice of 2 limes to the simmering broth. Divide the chicken meat between 4 bowls, ladle the broth over the chicken, top with the stir-fried vegetables and scatter some coriander (cilantro) leaves over each portion.

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