Have you poached chicken breast before? When I first read the instructions for a poached chicken breast, I was sceptical that some water, bay leaves, and peppercorns would bring flavour to the meat. I was wrong. If you haven’t poached a chicken breast before, you will be amazed at how fragrant the water becomes and the way that it flavours the chicken.
Poaching a chicken breast, stops the meat from drying out and at the same time, is a healthy alternative method of cooking as there is little fat involved. It is a great option for take to work lunches, as the chicken can be added to sandwiches and salads. I added my chicken to risotto with some tarragon leaves and a drizzle of truffle oil.
In a way, this post is a Trumpeting Tuesday post as I got the recipe from the ‘What Katie Ate’ cookbook. Katie Quinn Davies is a blogger based in Sydney and her photographs, and cookbook are divine.
Poached Chicken Risotto
Recipe from ‘What Katie Ate, Recipes and other Bits & Bobs’ pg 190
½ tsp black peppercorn
2 dried bay leaves
2 x 200g free-range chicken breast fillets
1.2 ltr chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
300g arborio rice
100ml white wine
Small handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g pecorino, grated, plus extra to serve
White truffle oil, for drizzling
A few tarragon leaves, optional
1. Place the bay leaves, peppercorns and 750 millilitres of water in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes to infuse the flavours. Add the chicken breasts, then cover and simmer over a low heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then drain and tear the chicken into strips.
2. Pour the stock into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to very low, then cover and keep it warm until needed.
3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan or flameproof casserole dish until the butter has melted. Add the onion and cook for five to 10 minutes or until softened. Add the rice and stir to coat with the onion mixture, then pour in the wine and simmer, stirring, until the liquid has reduced a little.
4. Add a ladleful of warm stock to the rice and cook, stirring, until it has been completely absorbed. Continue adding the stock in this way until there is only one ladleful of stock left in the pan. Add the chicken, parsley and finally, the remaining stock. Stir to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper. By now, the risotto should have a lovely creamy consistency. When the last of the stock has been absorbed, stir in the pecorino.
5. To serve, spoon portions of the risotto onto plates. Drizzle with a little white truffle oil, add a scattering of extra pecorino and one or two tarragon leaves (if using) then finish with a final grind of black pepper.