1.6kg 1 whole chicken

1ltr fresh chicken stock, preferably homemade

500ml good white wine, ideally the same you plan to drink the dish with

1 bouquet garni of hard herbs such as rosemary, thyme and bay (tie with string so it’s easy to remove)

a little olive oil and butter

100ml double cream

1tsp Dijon mustard

500g (prepped weight) baby vegetables of your choice

Pot au feu is a classic French dish literally translating to ‘pot in fire’. All the flavours of a well-bred free-range chicken mingle together with summer baby vegetables, herbs and white wine. The technique may be French and harking back to Robin’s younger days with the Roux brothers, but it’s a dish that also personifies the philosophy at The Counter of amazing produce, seasonal ingredients and a lot of love and care. Rather than following a recipe, choose the freshest baby vegetables you can find – we’re spoilt for choice in July. Baby turnips, fresh podded peas and broad beans, baby gem lettuce sliced lengthways into quarters and the last of the Kentish asparagus would all be lovely. All this chicken pot au feu needs is fresh bread and a good glass of wine, Robin’s favourite is Simpsons’ Roman Road,...

  1. Set the oven to 180°C and remove the chicken from the fridge to bring to room temperature. Heat a deep-sided 2.5-3L casserole, with a lid, on the stove and add a little olive oil and butter. Season the chicken inside and out with sea salt and gently sear on all sides in the casserole pot. Remove the chicken to a plate, reserving any juices, and add the white wine to the pot and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock to the pot and bring to the boil. Place the chicken into the pan, breast side down, with any reserved juices. Put the lid on and into the hot oven for 20 minutes. After this time, turn the chicken over and take the lid off, before returning to the oven for 15 minutes to give some colour to the breast. Remove the chicken to rest and keep warm. Add the mustard and cream to the pot and check the seasoning, mix well and add the vegetables stirring to coat in the chicken and wine sauce, replace the lid and cook in the oven for a further 10 minutes so the vegetables are just cooked and retain their flavour and texture.
  2. To serve, joint the chicken into pieces and arrange on a platter, spooning over the vegetables and a little sauce. Serve the rest of the sauce in a warmed sauce pot or gravy boat and put on the table for your guests to help themselves alongside fresh bread and cold white wine.

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