Simmered Chicken

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

An excellent method of cooking a tender young chicken is to simmer it in a small quantity of water with vegetables and herbs. This is a good way to prepare a chicken for salad, or for serving in a cold sauce, when the small quantity of stock used is very well flavoured, and the bird is nice and moist.


  • 1 oven-ready chicken, about 1.25 kg/3 lb
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 onion, cut in quarters
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • stalk celery
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 4 peppercorns
  • small bay leaf
  • few sprigs fresh parsley or tarragon


    Rub the surface of the chicken with the cut lemon half to keep the flesh white. Select a pan with a tight-fitting lid, that will hold the chicken neatly.

    Pour 2.5 cm (1 in) cold water into the pan and add the onion, carrot pieces, celery, a piece of pared lemon rind, salt and peppercorns, bay leaf and parsley or tarragon. Bring to the boil and add the chicken. Cover with the lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until tender – about 1 hour for a ½25 - kg (3 - lb) bird.

    Draw the pan off the heat. Set the pan in a cold larder and allow the bird to cool in the stock overnight.