Slow Sunday ~ Poulet Nomade – Nomad’s Chicken – Herb Poached Chicken in a Jar

~Slow Sunday~ 

Poulet Nomade ~ Nomad’s Chicken

Herb Poached Chicken in a Jar 

Nomad’s Chicken in a Jar ~ served on crusty baguette and salad

~ Sunday 7th August 2011 ~

Dimanche 7 Août 2011 ~ St Gaétan

Slow Sunday……….and The Long French Lunch

It is Sunday again, how the weeks fly by and once more there is just the two of us, as our last B and B guests have left, and we have a few days free before the next guests arrive. So, what to make for Sunday lunch today……we neither of us fancy a traditional Sunday Roast ~ plenty of time for cosy roast dinners by the fire when the weather cools down, and we are held hostage inside to the cold, wind, rain and snow. I love roast chicken and thought I would do that, and then serve it with a selection of salads and new potatoes……but the idea of a WHOLE roast chicken sitting on the table doesn’t seem right since we just took delivery of our lovely Coronation Chickens last Monday. I will get there in the end, as roast chicken is my favourite Sunday roast, but not while they are still settling in, it somehow doesn’t sit well with me right now! 

Nomad’s Chicken in a Jar

I must digress for a wee while and talk about The Long French Lunch……the first one I enjoyed in France was about 8 or 9 years ago, we met some friends for lunch at a little port village called Port Maubert, and the restaurant in question was L’Écluse; a fabulous unpretentious restaurant specialising in seafood and fish, especially caviar and sturgeon caught in the Gironde estuary, on which the port sits. We met our friends at Midday; we being me and my husband and my parents who were visiting us from England. We were a large party of 14, and we rather took over the outside terrace, sitting at an assortment of odd shaped tables pushed together on the wooden decking and right by the estuary. We had aperitifs for an hour whilst we pondered over the menu ~ which is simply de rigueur in France!

The menu at the time, as I remember it, offered three or four appetisers, three main course options as well as a cheese board and choice of three or four desserts…..so not a huge amount to choose from but enough to need two or three Pastis to make the correct culinary decisions! They were famous for their seafood buffet as one of the appetiser options ~ an amazing array of fresh seafood including oysters, mussels, clams, razer clams, prawns, whelks, cockles and also roll-mop herrings too. I chose the buffet option followed by the fish of day, which was fresh sturgeon cooked over wood and was absolutely delectable ~ served simply with a huge baked potato and a slab of local salted butter. The cheeseboard was something to behold ~ an enormous wooden plank that was the size of a ship’s rudder, on which there were at least TWENTY types of French cheese…….and bizarrely nestled amongst the cheese were tiny plastic goats and cows ~ they looked like they had been stolen from a child’s toy farmyard set and they set me off laughing hysterically ~ just the sight of assorted plastic goats mounting a slab of artisan Chèvre and stumbling over a wedge of Camembert was just too much to take ~ or maybe I was just a little giddy due to the pastis and wine?

Each course was beautifully cooked and presented and the whole lunch took us FOUR hours……..absolute bliss ~ no waiters hovering around and breathing down your neck, nobody constantly asking “if everything is okay” even though you know they couldn’t care less half the time and all they want is your table……just simple, old fashioned hospitality with really amazing local, freshly cooked food ~ and served with quiet efficiency. Anyway enough about that for now, I have decided to cook the following recipe today, and it is a chicken dish, as I do have a enticing Red Label chicken in the fridge, but not a whole roast chicken! Not just yet darlinks!

This is the recipe for potted chicken that I have decided to make ~ Nomad’s chicken; I found this amazing recipe in a French magazine, (Femme Actuelle) whilst waiting in the doctor’s surgery, and yes I did tear the page out of the magazine ~ but I did ask!  It’s such a great idea for portable chicken, hence its name. Chicken breasts are poached in a court-bouillon broth with garlic and thyme; the chicken is then mixed with fresh chèvre (goat’s cheese) and artichokes and is popped into a kilner jar with a little flavoured oil. Eh voila! It is ready to pack into a hamper for a picnic. C’est parfait! Serve this wonderful moist chicken salad mixture with crusty baguette or artisan bread, using the flavoured oil for dipping and dunking. This can be stored once cooked in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. (In the sealed kilner jar.) If you have fresh artichokes available, use them in preference to tinned ones.

I served this for an informal Sunday lunch today at the kitchen table ~ it is raining again so no chance of an “al fresco” meal. We ate it with crusty baguette, fresh tomatoes and spring onions. But, PLEASE don’t breathe a word of this to my hens……..it may put them off laying for a while! Here is the recipe for this delectable potted chicken dish, and by the way, we DID eat this in the manner of a Long French Lunch, with wooden serving platters and glasses of chilled Chardonnay, almost like an indoor picnic ~ with no sense of urgency………..revelling in a really good SLOW SUNDAY!

~ Nomad’s Chicken in a Jar ~

~ Poulet Nomade ~

RECIPE

In the jar and in the fridge

 Ingredients:

    • 800g chicken breasts, skinned and boned
    • 1 vegetable stock cubes ( court-bouillon cube)
    • 1 litre water
    • 250ml white wine (optional)
    • 150g fresh goat’s cheese (NO rind)
    • fresh thyme (2 sprigs)
    • 1 -2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
    • salt, to taste
    • 4 tinned/canned artichoke hearts, diced
    • 80g almonds, slivered and toasted
    • 2 tablespoons pumpkin oil or 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

Gently poach the chicken breasts in a saucepan with the water, into which the court-bouillon cube has been dissolved. Poach them over a low to medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover the saucepan with a lid and allow to cool in the liquid for about 30 to 45 minutes. (You can add a little white wine to the water if you wish, reduce the water to 750ml and add 250ml of white wine)

Once cool enough to handle, drain and cut the chicken into small bite sized pieces.

In a bowl, crush the fresh chèvre (goat’s cheese) with a fork, until roughly crumbled with the leaves from the fresh thyme sprigs. Add the black pepper, salt and garlic to taste. Mix gently. Then add the chicken pieces and then the chopped artichoke hearts and the toasted slivered almonds. Mix gently before adding the oil – then decant the chicken salad into a clean/sterile glass jar, such as a kilner jar, which has an airtight lid.

Seal with the lid before storing in the fridge until needed, for up to 1 to 2 days. Turn the jar upside down a few times throughout the day making sure that the oil covers the chicken.

Serve at the table from the jar or on a picnic with plenty of paper napkins and crusty, rustic bread! Salad leaves would also be a great addition to this chicken salad.

 See you on Monday, when I will have a SWEET TREAT to share with you all……….and have a wonderful Slow Sunday.

Karen

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