poached chicken
with Cos

the meat of one poached chicken
2 bunches of thick stemmed asparagus in season, tough ends snapped off and thinly sliced lengthwise [1] for seasonal
substitutes for asparagus
20g Maldon sea salt or other quality salt
Splash of EVO
1/2 litre ice
I medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon drained capers, roughly chopped unless they are the tiny ones
12 cornichons, finely sliced
½ bunch of dill, stalked and chopped….a few sprigs reserved for garnish
6 hard boiled eggs…4 chopped, 2 quartered for garnish
250g lemon mayonnaise
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large soil grown cos, washed and dried, larger leaves torn, smaller leaves left whole

AO 24 JANUARY 2023


Put a pan of water on high heat, add the salt and splash of EVO. Set up an ice bath with the ice. When the water comes to the boil drop the prepared asparagus in, stir for a minute and then immediately drop it into the ice bath. When it is completely chilled lift it from the ice bath onto paper towel and dry.

Just before serving, put everything except the quartered eggs, the whole cos leaves and the dill garnishes into a bowl. Season generously and very gently mix everything together. Spread out on to your favourite serving platter. Tuck the whole cos leaves in and around, garnish with the quartered hard-boiled eggs and reserved dill sprigs.

[1] Asparagus is a brief season. In summer Zucchini, sliced lengthwise, blanched for a second, refreshed in an ice bath and dried is a good substitute and the torn flowers are an excellent garnish. We also make this into a Russian salad, adding cooked diced carrot, peas, chopped beans all blanched, refreshed and dried. We add about a tablespoon to Beerenberg Hahndorf Hot Mustard and a 47.5g tin of Ortiz anchovies drained and pounded to a paste [the drained oil reserved for another purpose], then swap the dill for tarragon and curly parsley, both stalked and finely chopped, the more tarragon the better. Cos is not added to the actual salad, but small salad leaves are used as a garnish.