chicken 'pottage'

chicken 'pottage'

If any of you have read the Shardlake series by CJ Sansom then you should know what pottage is. For those of you that haven't it's a soup that seemed to be eaten every day during Medieval England. After reading the books I had to look it up online to find out what it was.

The name pottage is an old French word that got adopted by the English and essentially means a dish that is cooked in one pot. Traditionally it would be made with root vegetables, cabbage and some herbs and would look like a broth. It would often be served with some hard cheese and bread (if you were lucky!).

So after reading about its history I was inspired to create my own version of pottage, which I make with chicken and I have adapted it somewhat to make it a more modern dish. I hope you enjoy it!

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • Chicken breast - 1 large
  • Carrots - 3 medium
  • Celery - 2 sticks
  • Potatoes - 3 large
  • Parsnips - 3
  • Onion - 1 medium
  • Garlic - 2 cloves
  • Peas/petit pois - 1 cup
  • Rosemary - a few sprigs
  • Thyme - a few sprigs
  • Bay leaves - 2
  • Lemon zest -¼-½ tsp
  • Stock - 1 litre
  • Cheddar cheese - a small bit grated to serve (optional)
  • Crusty bread (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Oil

Method

  • Peel potatoes and parsnips and dice into cubes about an inch in size
  • Slice celery, dice onion and garlic and chop carrots into fairly large chunks (cut on the diagonal) approximately half an inch thick
  • Add onion to pan on a medium heat with oil and soften for 5 minutes
  • Slice chicken into thin strips - about an inch and a half in length
  • Add garlic to pan and fry for a further 1 minute
  • Add potatoes, carrots, celery and parsnips
  • Add stock and all the herbs
  • Grate in a little lemon zest
  • Add a few shakes of salt and pepper to taste
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the veg is soft enough to eat (add the peas when there is approximately 10 minutes of cooking time left)
  • Remove the bay leaves and any of the stalks left from the herbs
  • Adjust seasoning to taste, grate over a little cheddar cheese and serve with some crusty bread
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