French cookery is celebrated for its elaborate creations, but equally famous is the famed bourgeois dish, the poule au pot. In the French provinces it is a traditional Sunday dinner dish that is as nourishing as it is delicious.
4poundsbeef (brisket, rump, shin, plate, chuck or round)
2onions, each stuck with 1whole clove
14leeks, washed well
12carrots, scraped and cut into thirds
1roasting chicken (5pounds), stuffed and trussed
6 to 8potatoes, peeled and halved
12 small white turnips, peeled
Place the beef in a heavy kettle and add water to cover by three inches. Add the onions, celery, two of the leeks and two of the carrots. Tie the parsley, bay leaf, thyme, garlic and peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth and add it to the kettle. Add about one tablespoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, skimming frequently. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for three to four hours, depending on the cut of beef.
Wash the chicken and dry thoroughly. Sprinkle inside with salt and pepper. Stuff the bird with Sausage Stuffing for Chicken or with any flavorful stuffing. Sew the openings tightly and truss the bird.
About an hour and a half before the beef is done, remove it from the kettle. Strain the broth and discard the cooked vegetables and the spice bag. Return broth and meat to the kettle. Add the chicken, cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for one hour.
Tie the remaining carrots and leeks in bundles to help retain their shape. Add them to the kettle with the potatoes and turnips. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Continue to cook for thirty minutes longer, until the chicken and beef are cooked and the vegetables tender but not mushy.
Slice the beef and carve the chicken. Arrange the meats on a large platter and surround them with the vegetables in neat piles. Serve with Sauce Gribiche.