New year’s detox: ‘A fowl in the pot’

January 8th, 2013 § 0 comments

Pintade 'au pot'

La poule au pot… One of the ultimate feel-good/comfort/healing foods in French households. A [huge] pot, a chicken [a hen originally], veggies and more veggies, water and not much more. [yes, chicken soup if you insist]

As a ‘true Francaise’ 😉 , I believe it to be a remedy against the cold, the flu, the broken hearts, the end of the year indigestions, etc.

It was the first meal we ate at home after the birth of petit Tom (merci maman!).

For my first 2013 New year’s brew of ‘Poule au pot’, I used guinea fowl instead of ‘plain’ chicken, plenty of leeks, some carrot, cabbage, and parsnips (and some potatoes for Dutchie). The meat was moist and the broth rich and earthy. Served with homemade bread, pickles and moutarde de Dijon.

All we needed for a fresh start in 2013!

And you, what’s your ultimate feel-good/comfort/healing meal?

‘A fowl in the pot’
Pintade ‘au pot’

serves 6
prep: 20 min. cook: 1 hr

. 1 guinea fowl (or a good quality farm chicken), thoroughly cleaned*,
. 1 onion, peeled but whole,
. 3 cloves,
. 2 cloves of garlic,
. bouquet garni (Parsley, celery, bay leaf, thyme),
. peppercorns and (coarse),
. sea salt to taste,
. 2 leeks, thoroughly cleaned,
. 2 winter carrots, peeled and cut in thick sticks,
. 2 parsnips, peeled and cut in thick sticks,
. 1/2 chinese cabbage,
. 600 g potatoes (optional),
. 1/2 organic lemon (juice and zest).

To serve:
. bread,
. gherkins and pickles,
. (Dijon) mustard,
. sea salt and pepper,
. lemon wedges.

1. Put the guinea fowl in a very large cooking pan or a Cocotte/ Dutch oven. Add the bouquet garni, the lemon zest and the garlic cloves and the onion pricked with the cloves. Add the peppercorns and some coarse sea salt to taste**.

2. Cover with cold water and bring to a simmer on medium to high heat. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for 25 min. Skim any impurities at the surface.

3. Add the carrots, cabbage, leeks and potatoes if using any. Bring back to a simmer and simmer covered for 10 more minutes before adding the parsnips. Simmer 15 more minutes on low heat or until the veggies are tender but not falling apart.

4. Remove from the heat. Season to taste with lemon juice. Cut the bird into parts. I usually like to serve the guinea fowl and vegetables together and the stock on the side. Some might prefer to serve everything together in deep plates. It’s up to you.

5. Put some gherkins and other pickles, mustard, lemon wedges, sea salt and pepper on the dining table for everyone to pick from.

* In the family we like to treat our birds with a ‘little spa treatment’ before cooking them: we wash them with cold water, then massage them with lemon and coarse sea salt. Good against germs, and good to tenderize the meat…
** since petit homme is eating with us I put only a bit of salt at this stage and adjust the seasoning at the end once I have removed his share.

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