Poached chicken with tarragon

Serves 8

For the Poached chicken

  • 2 small free-range chickens
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay-leaves
  • 6 shallots
  • 1 large bunch tarragon


For the Mayonnaise

  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 2 really good egg yolks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100ml (31⁄2fl oz) virgin olive oil
  • 400ml (14fl oz) vegetable oil
  • Chives or parsley (optional)

Put the chickens in your biggest casserole pan. Cover them with water, add the wine, peppercorns, bay-leaves, half the shallots (sliced) and half the tarragon.

Cover and simmer for an hour, then allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile make the mayonnaise.

Put the vinegar, mustard, lemon, egg yolks and seasoning in a blender and blitz for a few seconds. Stop. Turn the blender to a middling setting and switch it on. Pour in the olive oil very slowly, making sure it does not split. Once all the olive oil is in, add the veg oil in the same way, until the mayo is as thick as you want it to be. If you need more oil, add some.

Chop the remaining tarragon and add it. Have a final blitz. To finish, pick the chicken off the bone in big flakes and combine with the mayonnaise.

If you like, finely chop the remaining shallots and add them, together with chives or parsley

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