Poule au Pot

PHOTOS BY MICHAEL PIAZZA
STYLING BY CATRINE KELTY

SERVES 4–6

For cooking the chicken
1 local chicken (about 3½¬–4 pounds)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (California unfiltered, if you can find it) 
Handful of minced herbs (parsley, chives, thyme)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, peeled
2 leeks, trimmed
6 sprigs thyme
5 sprigs parsley
2 bay leaves

Make a paste with salt, pepper, minced herbs and olive oil. Rub into the chicken. Let the chicken sit at room temperature for at least an hour, or wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator overnight. If refrigerating, take out at least 1 hour prior to cooking.

Using kitchen twine, tie the carrots, leeks and whole herbs together into a bundle. Place the chicken in a large pot, add the bundled vegetables and just enough water to cover the chicken. (It is OK if chicken is not fully immersed; the point is to have a rich broth, not a watery one.) Add a few pinches of salt and some freshly ground black pepper, then bring to a boil over high heat.

Skim, and reduce heat to a very light simmer. Partially cover the pot and allow to cook about 1½ hours. Check for doneness and cook longer if necessary, then remove the chicken from the pot and discard the herb and vegetable bundle. Set the chicken aside to cool until it can be handled.

For serving
1 pound leeks, white part only, cut into 2-inch lengths, bundled and tied with butcher’s twine
1 small bunch of carrots (about ¾ pound), trimmed, peeled, bundled and tied with butcher’s twine
1 small bunch turnips, trimmed, bundled and tied with butcher’s twine
2 bulbs fennel, trimmed leaving some of the frond and cut in half lengthwise, bundled and tied with butcher’s twine.

Once the chicken has been cooked and removed from the pot, add the bundles of vegetables to the broth and poach until tender, about 15–20 minutes.

Remove some of the broth to cook the ravioli, if using. Keep the remainder of the broth simmering.

Slice the chicken into serving pieces and arrange on a deep platter. Unbundle the vegetables and arrange over the chicken. Ladle with broth and drizzle with salsa verde.

Salsa verde
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram leaves
¼ cup chopped mint
1 cup chopped parsley
1 small garlic clove  
Sea salt, to taste
1 tablespoon salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil (California unfiltered, if you can find it)
½ lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the chopped herbs in a bowl. With a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic to a paste with a bit of salt, add capers and pound until partially crushed. Add to the herb mixture. Stir in olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

MICHELLE MULFORD is the chef/owner of Uncommon Feasts. She owes her love of cooking and eating to her Sicilian great aunts and uncles. She learned by watching them work their small backyard gardens, sitting with them at the kitchen table while they prepared handmade meals for enormous family lunches and holidays After 14 years as a cook, caterer, pie maker, and a stint at Formaggio Kitchen-South End she started Uncommon Feasts in 2013.