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Poached Chicken with Asian aromatics

Gently poached chicken breasts with a taste of Asia


  • 6-8 chicken breasts, skin and fat removed

  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced

  • 1 finely sliced carrot

  • 2 finely sliced shallots

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced

  • 1 generous Tblsp grated ginger

  • 3 finely sliced chillies - 2 green, 1 red (including seeds)

  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander root and stems

  • Handful of chopped coriander leaves - or flat leaf parsley

  • 1L chicken consomme (Campbells sell pure consomme in 500ml tetra bricks)

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly toasted

  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 Tblsp kecap manis

  • 1 tsp fish sauce

  • Optional: cooked rice, rice noodles, baby Bok Choy or Pak Choi


  • 1.

    Gently saute carrot, shallots, garlic and ginger in a large heavy based casserole until just shallots are transparent.

  • 2.

    Add the celery, chillies, coriander roots/stems and fennel seeds. Saute for 1 minute.

  • 3.

    Add the consomme and bring to a simmer.

  • 4.

    Submerge the chicken breasts, one at a time, placing the thinner end overlapping the previous (thicker portion) chicken breast.

  • 5.

    Bring to a gentle simmer, season with salt (as needed) and pepper.

  • 6.

    Cover casserole and poach for approximately 40 minutes, depending on thickness of breasts. Check that chicken is cooked through, without being over cooked.

  • 7.

    If serving as a soup, shred chicken meat and return to the poaching liquid.

  • 8.

    Add kecap manis to taste and fish sauce.

  • 9.

    Just prior to serving, add handful of chopped coriander leaves and/or parsley.

  • 10.

    If serving as a salad, slice the breast meat and accompany with a green leaf salad - rocket, baby spinach, endive, flat leaf parsley -


You can use home made chicken stock, although I find the commercial stocks very salty. The Real Consomme is ideal for this dish adding a wonderful flavour and minimum added salt.
For added bulk, I also added cooked basmati rice or you could add pre-soaked/cooked rice noodles.

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