Chicken, Parsnips and Mushrooms in a Pot

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  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A World in My Kitchen

A World in My Kitchen

By Peter Gordon

Published 2003

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This pays homage to the classic French dish, pot-au-feu. I like to use mixed mushrooms (shiitake, button, chestnut and pink oyster) but regular mushrooms work just as well. If you don’t have a deep saucepan or casserole dish large enough to hold a whole bird, you can use chicken pieces and adjust the cooking time. I like to serve the leftover broth as a soup, adding cooked macaroni and chilli to spice it up — it’s delicious and will keep for two days in the fridge.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 leeks, washed and thickly sliced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 bayleaves
  • 8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 12 shallots, peeled
  • 1 small handful thyme (on the stem)
  • 200 g(6 ½ oz) assorted mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1 large (1.2 kg/2 ½ lb) chicken, trussed and rubbed with 1 teaspoon salt
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat oil in a large deep saucepan or casserole dish (one with a tight-fitting lid that will be able to hold a whole bird) on the stove. Fry leeks, parsnips, bayleaves, garlic and shallots until they begin to turn golden. Add thyme and mushrooms and fry for a further minute.

Sit chicken on top of vegetables and pour in enough boiling water to just about cover the bird. Bring to the boil, then turn to a simmer, cover and poach 60-90 minutes. Alternatively, place in an oven pre-heated to 170°C/340°F/Gas Mark 3-4 and cook for 90 minutes. The chicken is cooked when the meat on the thigh is no longer pink – test with a skewer or a small knife. Add a little salt and pepper to taste, then leave to sit in the broth for 15 minutes, off the heat.

Remove chicken to a serving plate and scoop out vegetables with a slotted spoon. Cut up chicken and serve it with vegetables and a jug of broth for saucing the dish.